Liberal MP Justin Trudeau on the front lawn of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 19. Montreal's La Presse has reported that he will run for the leadership of the federal Liberal party. — Photo by The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau has been elected to lead the federal Liberal party in a resounding first-ballot win.
Trudeau, eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau and the Liberals’ undisputed star, swept 80 per cent of the vote in a final field of six candidates.
Despite the foregone conclusion of Trudeau’s coronation, a downtown Ottawa hotel was packed with hundreds of Liberal supporters who cheered former prime minister Jean Chretien’s speech about the “next generation of Liberal party leadership” before the tally was made public.
The leadership buzz around Trudeau, 41, has lifted Liberals off the mat after the third-place party suffered its worst electoral defeat ever in 2011.
Polls suggest the telegenic and personable Trudeau appears to be confounding — at least for now — predictions of a polarized, two-way election fight in 2015 between Tom Mulcair’s NDP and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
Liberal MP Joyce Murray, whose leadership platform included co-operating with New Democrats and Greens to unseat Harper in the next election, finished a very distant second behind Trudeau with 10 per cent of the vote.