At 5 o'clock Swedish time, it leaned on the Liberals in 157 of 338 constituencies, against only 119 for the arch rival Conservative Party. 170 seats are required for own majority.

Two smaller parties, the separatist Bloc Quebecois and the Social Democratic New Democrats appear to be getting around 33 and 24 seats respectively, according to The Star newspaper.

- Significantly better than expected. It was quite possible that the Liberals would lose, concludes history professor Roberth Bothwell in an interview for the AP News Agency.

Nelson Wiseman, a professor of political science in Toronto, says he believes Trudeau will be able to continue with the support of New Democrats.

Trudeau became prime minister after the 2015 election victory and has long enjoyed great popularity for his winning ways and his progressive political line, but has lately been shaken by scandals and accused of environmental policy fraud after giving the go-ahead for a contentious oil pipeline.