Ottawa, Oct 22 (AFP/APP): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was set to hold onto power in a nail-biter of a general election Monday, according to television projections.
Broadcasters TVA, CTV and CBC declared the Liberals would form a minority government as the party was elected or leading in 145 of the 338 electoral districts, versus 107 for Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives, according to preliminary results.
Trudeau dominated Canadian politics over the four years of his first term, but faced a grilling during the 40-day election campaign, described as the nastiest in Canadian history.
His golden boy image has been tarnished by ethics lapses in the handling of the bribery prosecution of engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, while the emergence of old photographs of him in blackface makeup rocked his campaign.
Surging social democrats and resuscitated Quebec separatists appeared to have chipped away at Liberal support.
Scheer, meanwhile, struggled to win over Canadians with his bland minivan-driving dad persona and a throwback to the thrifty policies of past Tory administrations.
All polling stations spread across six time zones were closed.