Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a third term on Monday but his party fell short of a majority win.
Trudeau, in power since 2015 and governing with a minority of seats since 2019, had hoped to capitalise on his government's handling of the pandemic by calling an early vote.
Instead, he was met by an unexpectedly tight race.
His lackluster campaign was exacerbated by voter anger at the decision to call an election during a health crisis.
A point Trudeau acknowledged in his speech to supporters in Montreal.
"I hear you when you say that you just want to get back to the things you love not worry about this pandemic or an election, that you just want to know that your members of parliament of all stripes will have your back through this crisis and beyond."
CBC and CTV projected that Trudeau's Liberal government would hold a minority of seats in the House of Commons.
Elections Canada showed the Liberals leading in 156 electoral districts nationally, one more than they held before the vote, leading one commentator to dub it a "Groundhog Day election".
The Conservatives, led by Erin O'Toole, were in second place, and conceded defeat as results trickled in late into the night.
A second minority government will mean Trudeau's Liberals will have to rely again on opposition parties, such as the left-leaning New Democratic Party, to pass legislation.
Trudeau has pledged to work with other parties to get the country through the pandemic.
He said the results meant he had a clear mandate and that brighter days were ahead.