Canada election: Justin Trudeau on shaky ground as voters head to polls

Canadian voters headed to the polls Monday to decide the suddenly shaky fate of liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the one-time darling of progressives worldwide who's seen his prospects sink amid corruption allegations and the unearthing of a blackface photo.

Trudeau’s outlook has dimmed considerably since his Liberal Party captured a stunning landslide victory four years ago, winning 184 seats in Parliament.

That decisive victory turned the charismatic and photogenic Trudeau into something of a rock star among leftists around the world, even landing him a Rolling Stone cover under the headline: "Why Can't He Be Our President?"

But now, polls show the 47-year-old Trudeau and his party at risk of losing their majority -- or even being kicked out of office.

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau holds a rally in Vaughan, Ontario, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau holds a rally in Vaughan, Ontario, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

CANADA'S CONSERVATIVES OFFER BLAND OPTION TO TRUDEAU'S FLASH IN MONDAY'S NATIONAL ELECTIONS

If Trudeau is sent packing, it would mark the first time in 84 years that a first-term Canadian prime minister with a parliamentary majority wasn't re-elected.

As Election Day approached pollsters weren't expecting either Liberals or Conservatives to capture an absolute majority when all the votes are counted.

Trudeau’s popularity in Canada has plunged due to accusations he pressured his attorney general to drop a bribery probe of a Quebec company and after the publication of old photos of him in blackface, a revelation that prompted Trudeau to apologize.

On Sunday, as the campaign wound down, Trudeau warned voters that his Conservative opponent Andrew Scheer wanted to roll back regulations protecting the environment, Agence France-Presse reported.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer speaks during a rally in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer speaks during a rally in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

JUSTIN TRUDEAU'S LIBERALS MAKE FINAL PUSH AS CANADIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN REACHES CONCLUSION

"We need a strong, progressive government that will unite Canadians and fight climate change -- not a progressive opposition," Trudeau told a rally in suburban Vancouver, according to the news outlet.

Oct. 10, 2019: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer take part in the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Quebec. Polls show that Scheer has a chance to defeat Trudeau's Liberal party in national elections on Monday, Oct. 21. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

Oct. 10, 2019: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer take part in the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Quebec. Polls show that Scheer has a chance to defeat Trudeau's Liberal party in national elections on Monday, Oct. 21. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

Scheer, 40, told voters the country "cannot afford" a Liberal government propped up by the third-place New Democratic Party, AFP reported.

"We can only imagine what the NDP's price would be to keep Justin Trudeau in power," he said. "Whatever it is, we know Trudeau would pay any price to stay in power and he'd use your money to do it."

The divisive campaign turned even nastier at a national TV debate where Scheer called Trudeau "a phony" and "a fraud."

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Perhaps sensing Trudeau is in trouble, Barack Obama made an unprecedented endorsement by a former American president in urging Canadians to re-elect Trudeau and saying the world needs his progressive leadership now.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.