16 Apr 2013

Son of Trudeau now leads Canadian party

5:32 am on 16 April 2013

The eldest son of the late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau has won the leadership of the Liberal party.

After a campaign lasting seven months, Justin Trudeau won 80% of the votes in the first ballot on Saturday.

the Liberals were the dominant force in Canadian politics When his father was Prime Minister in the 1960's and 70's, but the party slipped to third place in the last election and now hold only 35 seats.

Analysts say his victory significantly boosts the party's prospects ahead of the next election in 2015.

The BBC reports Mr Trudeau has signaled he hoped to heal internal party divisions remaining after the party's losses in the 2011 election under Michael Ignatieff.

"I don't care if you thought my father was great or arrogant," Mr Trudeau said on Sunday.

"It doesn't matter to me if you were a Chrétien-Liberal, a Turner-Liberal, a Martin-Liberal or any other kind of Liberal. The era of hyphenated Liberals ends right here, tonight."

Mr Trudeau, 41, represents a constituency in Montreal. Pierre Trudeau, who died in 2000, led the Liberal Party from 1968 to 1984 and was prime minister for all of that time except during a short-lived Conservative government in 1979-80.