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Canadian broadcaster CBC projects win for Trudeau's Liberals

Canada's centrist Liberal Party has defeated Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party, according to national broadcaster CBC. The win ends the right-wing party's nine-year reign.

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau is on track to replace Stephen Harper, according to a vote projection by private broadcaster CTV News.

The projected win ends the Conservatives' nine years in power and reflected a broad shift away from Harper's brand of fiscal and cultural conservatism.

Polls for more than three quarters of the seats in Canada's elections are starting to report after closing down in provinces such as Ontario and Quebec - where the election could be decided.

The 11-week campaign has been considered too close to call for nearly two months in a virtual dead heat between the Conservatives, Liberals and left-leaning NDP.

The last polls are scheduled to close on the Pacific provinces and territories at 10 p.m. local time (0200 UTC).

Dynasty politician to lead Canada

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation now projects that 43-year-old Justin Trudeau, the son of one of Canada's most charismatic politicians, will be Canada's next prime minister.

He would become the second youngest prime minister in Canadian history.

If the results are confirmed, they would stark change in direction for Canada's politics.

Trudeau marks a return to Canada's liberal tradition, with its emphasis on social welfare - and one that Harper had been intent on altering.

Canada had shifted rightward under Harper, who has lowered sales and corporate taxes, avoided climate change legislation and clashed with the US President Barack Obama administration over the Keystone XL pipeline.

Trudeau had run on a platform promising to raise taxes for the wealthy and run deficits for three years to boost government spending.

Trudeau's opponents have mocked him as too inexperienced, but Trudeau embraced his boyish image on Election Day.

In contrast, the 56-year-old Harper visited districts he won in the 2011 election in an attempt to hang onto them. On Saturday, he posed for photos with Toronto's former crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford, in a conservative suburb.

Harper has courted controversy over the Islamic face veil a focus of his campaign, a decision his opponents criticized him as being a divisive figure in Canada.

The left-leaning NDP, led by Thomas Mulcair, had hoped to build on its second-place finish in 2011, and form its first government.

But the party had suffered setbacks in recent weeks. It lost key support in the predominately French-speaking Quebec province over its opposition to the ban on the niqab, the head covering worn by some Muslim women. It looked to finish in third place.

jar/rc (AP, Reuters)