Canada election 2021 live results: Liberals miss out on a majority government, but still nab win in historic pandemic vote

·9-min read

Canada's unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic election was never going to be easy. The 36-day whirlwind campaign kicked off with many Canadians asking why they were even heading to the polls during a global crisis, but the Liberals pulled off a minority win, after a day of frustrations from long lines, miscommunications and site glitches.

Election results: Riding-by-riding map

11:00 p.m. EST: Liberal projected to win minority government

The Liberals are set to win the most seats in the 2021 Canadian election, currently winning or leading for 156 seats, versus the Conservatives at 123.

The popular vote is currently sitting with the Conservatives at 34.02 per cent, Liberals at 32.92 per cent.

Notably, Justin Trudeau won his seat in his Papineau riding in Quebec, Chrystia Freeland won in the Toronto riding of University-Rosedale and Bill Blair won in Scarborough Southwest.

Erin O'Toole won the election in Ontario's Durham riding, Bloc Québecois leader Yves-François Blanchet won in his Beloeil—Chambly riding and People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernie lost in the Beauce, Que. riding to the incumbent, Conservative Richard Lehoux.

9:30 p.m. EST: Long lines to vote as polls approach close

As more poll closures approach, the lines seem to growing in certain ridings. Voters are continued to be frustrated by the wait, and are concerned about when they will actually be able to vote.

The general rule is that if someone is still in line when polls close, they will be able to vote.

8:00 p.m. EST: Votes tallied in Atlantic Canada, Liberals with very early lead

As votes from Atlantic Canada are being counted, after the polls starting closing there at 7:00 p.m. ET, the Liberals are watching to see if the party can maintain its hold in the regions, after losing a few seats in the 2019 election, and sweeping in 2015.

According to The Canadian Press, the Liberals currently projected to outperform the Conservatives in the Maritimes.

Notable Liberal candidate Seamus O'Regan has been re-elected in his riding of St. John's South—Mount Pearl in Newfoundland and Labrador, and fellow Liberal Dominic LeBlanc is expected to win in his riding of Beauséjour, New Brunswick.

HOW ELECTION DAY WENT FOR CANADIANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Long lines cause large grievances

When Canadians arrived at their respective voting location today, several were met with very long lineups, largely connected to COVID-19 pandemic precautions.

While on the one hand, people were frustrated with the wait, others were pleased to see that people are actually coming out to vote.

Elections Canada glitch fixed

Election Day did get off to a bit of a rocky start when there was a glitch on the Elections Canada site that prevented people from checking where their local voting station is, sparking fears of disenfranchisement of people who can't easily access information. The site is being panned as out of date by many voters who were shocked it wasn't working appropriately on voting day. 

Elections Canada did recognize the issue, which has now been resolved.

Each person's location voting location is printed on their voter information card, or, in addition to the Elections Canada website, they can call 1-800-463-6868.

Party leaders cast their ballots

Canadian Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau (2R) arrives with his family to cast his vote in the 2021 Canadian election in Montreal, Quebec on September 20, 2021. - Voters lined up to cast ballots in Canadian elections that are headed for a photo finish, with liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's bid for a third term threatened by rookie conservative leader Erin O'Toole's strong challenge. (Photo by Andrej Ivanov / AFP) (Photo by ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Canadian Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau (2R) arrives with his family to cast his vote in the 2021 Canadian election in Montreal, Quebec on September 20, 2021. - Voters lined up to cast ballots in Canadian elections that are headed for a photo finish, with liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's bid for a third term threatened by rookie conservative leader Erin O'Toole's strong challenge. (Photo by Andrej Ivanov / AFP) (Photo by ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau showed up to vote in Montreal, alongside his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and their three children.

Canada's opposition Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole and his wife Rebecca cast their ballots for the federal election, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada September 20, 2021. Adrian Wyld/Pool via REUTERS
Canada's opposition Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole and his wife Rebecca cast their ballots for the federal election, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada September 20, 2021. Adrian Wyld/Pool via REUTERS

While Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole cast his ballot alongside his wife Rebecca in Bownmanville, Ont.

When will election results be announced in Canada?

With the option for Canadians to mail-in their ballot this year, an avenue taken by some who do not want to go to the polls with COVID-19 spreading, this could mean that we will not know who won the election for a few days.

All special ballots, which include mail-in ballots, will not be counted on election night. These ballots need to be verified before they are counted, including confirming that someone did not vote by mail and in-person, and these checks can only begin after polls close.

"Returning officers will start the verification checks on the morning of Tuesday, September 21, and it may take up to 24 hours to finish them, at which point the counting of local special ballots can begin," a statement from Elections Canada reads.

"Therefore, some ridings may not start reporting results for local special ballots until Wednesday, September 22. All candidates in a riding may have representatives present at each counting location to observe the counting process."

Elections Canada also indicates that it's expected that "most of the country's 338 ridings" will report the results of their special ballot count on Sept. 21.

With the Liberals and Conservatives statistically tied in all the polls, even on the eve of election day, this could lead to a lengthy wait to determine who the next prime minister will be, if the race is in fact this tight.

The latest data from Elections Canada, as of Sept. 19, indicates that 1,014,177 voting kits issued to electors living in Canada voting by mail or at an Elections Canada office from inside their riding, with 777,094 of those returned.

Additionally, 192,743 voting kits were issued to electors living in Canada voting by mail or at an Elections Canada office from outside their riding, with 124,266 returned. Another 55,697 kits were sent to individuals living outside of Canada, with 22,472 returned.

Where can you vote in Canada's election?

Canadians can vote in-person at their assigned polling station, which can be found on your voter information card or on the Elections Canada website, based on postal code.

Voters must show one piece of government-issued identification: your driver's licence or any other card issued by a Canadian government (federal, provincial/territorial or local) with your photo, name and current address.

As an alternative, Canadians can choose to bring two pieces of identification that include your name, and at least one must have your current address.

According to Elections Canada, anyone without the acceptable forms of identification can vote if you declare your identity and address in writing, and someone assigned to your polling station can vouch for you.

"The voucher must be able to prove their identity and address," the information reads. "A person can vouch for only one person (except in long-term care facilities)."

Anyone who hasn't voted but is positive for COVID-19 on elections day will not be able to vote this year.

"We ask that any elector who thinks they may have COVID-19 or who has tested positive for the virus to isolate, stay home and not come to an Elections Canada office or polling place," the information from Elections Canada reads.

"Unfortunately, after Tuesday, September 14, electors who have or believe they have COVID-19 and who have not already applied to vote by mail will not be able to vote."

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