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Justin Trudeau Is Canada's New Prime Minister After A Stunning Majority Election Win

The Liberals blew away expectations and their opponents in a decisive return to power.

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Just a couple months ago, the Liberals were in third place and being written off. Now they've quadrupled their seat count and Justin Trudeau is the next prime minister of Canada.

Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press

While recent polls showed a Liberal win was likely, none had predicted such a landslide. A majority seemed like a long shot.

But in the end, it wasn't even close. The Liberals were on pace to win 184 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons as of 1 a.m. Tuesday.

"Sunny ways, my friends, sunny ways," Trudeau told a euphoric crowd in Montreal. "This is what positive politics can do."

Trudeau said the Liberals won because they listened to Canadians. He said his team "did the hard work of slogging across this country" to find out what people wanted in their government.

He also thanked outgoing Prime MInister Stephen Harper for his years of service and said, "Conservatives are not our enemies, they're our neighbours."

The Liberals swept two entire regions of the country — 32 out of 32 seats in Atlantic Canada and all three territories. They then made huge gains in Quebec, wiping out much of the NDP's orange wave from 2011, and in Ontario.

The momentum didn't continue to British Columbia, the other key battleground state. But by then it was already more than enough for a majority win.

Stephen Harper did not mention resigning as leader of the Conservatives during his concession speech. But his party sent out a press release announcing his resignation moments after he stepped off the stage.

Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Harper seemed at ease and even upbeat as he took the blame for the party's fortunes, saying the loss was "my responsibility and mine alone."

Harper said his party put it all on the line, but ultimately succeeded in changing the country.

"This is the Canada we conservatives have been building since the time of Sir John A. MacDonald," he said.

After winning 166 seats in 2011, the Conservatives were cut down to 102. They held much of their base in the prairies, and even picked up some new territory in Quebec. But they lost their grip on Ontario and were swept right out of Atlantic Canada.

The Conservatives had lost many veterans even to retirement even before the election began. On Monday they lost even more ministers, such as Joe Oliver, Julian Fantino, and Gail Shea.

Still, the Conservatives held on to triple-digit seats and will be official opposition to the Liberals.

For the NDP, this election was a heartbreaker. Leading in the polls just a few months ago, they lost more than half their seats and sit in a distant third with 41 MPs.

Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

After a massive breakthrough in 2011, they overcame the death of former leader Jack Layton and spent four years developing dozens of new MPs.

Most of them are now gone, along with high-profile veterans such as Megan Leslie, Jack Harris, Paul Dewar, Peter Stoffer, and Pat Martin.

The party is essentially now back to where they were before 2011.

The room at Montreal's convention centre was barely half full, with a few hundred people packed around the podium at the event's peak. The mood was glum.

Party operatives nevertheless tried to spin the results as positive and maintained that leader Tom Mulcair ran a solid, principled campaign.

Mulcair, for his part, said the defeat of Stephen Harper was still a win.

"We've said from the beginning that this election is about change," he told the crowd in French. "And tonight, Canadians turned the page on 10 long years and they rejected the politics of fear and division."

But the results are undeniably poor for the party that entered the election leading in the polls. Despite the results, Mulcair did not resign — and his main spokesperson told BuzzFeed Canada the NDP leader plans to stay on the job.

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