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Canada's new PM Trudeau vows to bring hope, change

Updated: 2015-10-20 11:28

Canada's new PM Trudeau vows to bring hope, change

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau waves with his wife Sophie, sons Hadrien (L), Xavier (R) and daughter Ella-Grace while boarding his campaign bus after voting in Montreal, Quebec, October 19, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

OTTAWA - Canada's new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is moving back to the house where he grew up.

The Liberal leader, son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, led his party to victory in a federal election on Monday, defeating Stephen Harper's Conservatives by a wide margin.

While the final vote count was not yet complete, Trudeau's Liberals were on track to win 174 of Parliament's 338 seats, according to Elections Canada.

That means Trudeau is on track to break the record for the biggest gain in seats in an election, which was previously held by the Conservatives, who added 111 seats in the 1984 election. It is the largest percentage increase in seats ever gained by a party in an election.

The stunning win returns Trudeau, 43, to the prime minister's official residence at 24 Sussex Drive where he lived for almost 12 years while his father was in office.

Trudeau, who took over a party in shambles in 2013, trailed early in the campaign, brushed off by his opponents as being more style than substance and an intellectual lightweight who was not ready for the job.

But a bold pledge to run a budget deficit and boost spending to spur the economy, as well as a positive message and his gregarious nature, helped the Liberals engineer a turnaround.

The telegenic Trudeau has often drawn large crowds and elicited comparisons to the Kennedy dynasty and the Obama campaigns.

He was born to great publicity on Christmas Day 1971 and stayed in the limelight until his father left office in 1984. He returned to prominence with a moving eulogy at his father's 2000 funeral.

"Dealing with being my father's son isn't something that I suddenly had to get my mind around as I showed up in this place as an MP (member of Parliament) ... it's been something that's been with me all my life," he told Reuters in a January interview. "It's what I put out there that actually matters."

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