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Canada's ruling Liberals took an early lead after polls closed in four provinces on Monday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau battled to remain in power after two major scandals and a spirited challenge by the opposition Conservatives.
The Liberals were leading or elected in 25 of 32 electoral districts in Atlantic Canada by 8.30pm EDT (0030 GMT on Tuesday) despite a drop in their overall popular vote from the 2015 election, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Losses - Region - Trudeau - Party - Sweep
Some Liberal losses had been expected in the region after Trudeau led the party to a clean sweep there four years ago. Atlantic Canada makes up less than 10 percent of the seats in the House of Commons.
The national race was expected to be closer as Trudeau, who took power as a charismatic figure promising 'sunny ways,' battles Conservative leader Andrew Scheer for the chance to form the next government.
Trudeau - Liberal - Party - Leader - US
Trudeau, 47, the Liberal Party leader, was endorsed by former U.S. President Barack Obama in the final stretch of the campaign and is viewed as one of the last remaining progressive leaders among the world's major democracies.
But he was shaken during the campaign by a blackface scandal and has been dogged by criticism of his handling of a corruption case involving a major Canadian construction company. Trudeau, the son of the late Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, has also had to overcome a sense of fatigue with his government.
Trudeau - Family - Montreal - Monday - Marathon
Trudeau, accompanied by his family, voted in Montreal on Monday after a marathon sprint campaigning across the country in the past four days. Scheer voted in his Saskatchewan electoral district.
On Twitter, he repeatedly urged people to get out and vote. Voter turnout is crucial for the Liberals, who privately fear low engagement will affect them more than the Conservatives.
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