Federal election results 2011

Historic change in Canada on election night
Kris Scheuer

St. Paul's MP Carolyn Bennett was one of a few dozen Liberals who held onto their seats. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

 Wow. What a difference a day makes.
At the beginning of May 2 before all the votes were cast, this was the make-up of parliament:
Conservatives: 143
Liberals: 77
Bloc: 47
NDP: 36
Green: 0
And by the end of election night May 2, this is how the next parliament will look according to Elections Canada at 2:19 am May 2 evening/May 3 morning:

Conservatives majority government with leader and Prime Minister Stephen Harper: 167 (increased 24 seats).
NDP official opposition (first time in history) with leader Jack Layton: 102 (increased 66 seats).
Liberals (third party for first time ever): 34 seats (down 43) and party leader Michael Ignatieff lost his own Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding.
Bloc: 4 seats (lost 43 seats) and the party leader Gilles Duceppe lost his own seat in Laurier-Sainte-Marie.
Greens: 1 seat (first time ever elected in Canada) with party leader Elizabeth May winning in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding.


5 responses to “Federal election results 2011

  1. Clifford J. Layne

    Thanks for the clarification and the re-statement of the election facts. However, I felt that you, as a jounalist, would have greater exposure to and a deeper insight into the political possibilities of a major shift than I would.
    I was not overly surprised by the results. Going into this election, Mr. Harper would have come out of it with, at minimum another minority government. I do not think that was ever in question. The Liberals erred in judgement by forcing the election, when they did and for the reasons that they did. The Liberal losses were predictable, because for the second time in a row, they selected someone to run the party that was not perceived as a leader. The NDP gained many seats, because people voted for leadership and Jack Layton was the best choice. They gained seats in Quebec based on an anti-Bloc vote and their mistrust of the PC’s and Liberals. Yes, the PC’s gained seats, but at the expense of the Liberals in Toronto as Mr. Ford predicted. So, this election was fairly predictable

    • Cliff,
      no it was not in question that Stephen Harper would get at least a minority government but there is a difference in numbers, power and governing between what he had (143 seats) what he needed for a majority (at least 155) and what he got (167 seats) so he got 24 more seats a comfortable majority. Yes that surprised me.
      Yes the Liberals chose a second leader that didn’t resonate with the public but does that mean they would free fall from 77 seats down to 34 seats? No not necessarily.
      THe NDP gained votes because of the popularity of the leader Jack Layton and the anti-Bloc vote in Quebec, true, but also a of of hard work by the party over the last 8 years since Jack has been leader to reach out beyond the party’s base and to focus on ridings where they were a close second, etc.
      I don’t agree at all that this election was fairly predictable at all.
      I am sure if we were commenting five weeks ago when the election campaign started neither you or I would predict the exact outcome of last night other then in vague terms such as Stephen Harper coming back with either a majority or minority that was the only aspect that was pretty much known.
      And my natural strength and 13 years experience as a journalist have been in Toronto with 11 years of that focused more on Toronto city politics not so much federal politics. So I can’t claim to have as much insight in the 308 ridings across Canada as you assume I would have.
      I would say that I would have more insight at city hall as I have covered it for 11 years and some of that has included working at a city hall press office, attending committee and council sessions, covering the 10-month council races in 2003, 2006 and 2011 etc.
      But no I am not a specific expert in federal elections and the mind of the electorate nationwide.

  2. Clifford J. Layne

    Ok Kris, you have said wow! Is this from excitement generated by the change in poitical landscape or from utter shock at the result? What does this mean to you? What does this mean to the general Joe Canadian?

    I personally am afraid of any government with a majority, whether it be Conservative, Liberal or New Democrat. I always compare government to business. Governments that have an been elected with a majority, have a tendency to govern by invoking “the mandate” defense. They promote an agenda through past history or during the campaign of a certain “generalized” social position, and then enact legislation and policy based around that social position, assuming they have the support of the majority of the voters. Comparing that stance to the business world would be akin to the Board of Directors appointing a CEO to run a corporation with the mandate of cutting costs (for example) and then telling the CEO he has carte blanche powers for the next 5 years before he has to report to the Board.
    As I do not believe in the party system of politics at all, I used my vote yesterday, as I always do, strategically. I believe that you get a greater bang for your 1 vote that way. I voted Liberal, not because I believe in their philosophy or their policies, but in the hope of preventing a Conservative majority. I also voted Liberal in the hope of dampening Mr. McGuinty’s chances of being re-elected provincially in October.

    Yesterday my vote counted, but the strategy obviously failed, perhaps I need to create my own blog to get the word out prior to the fall election. Historically Ontarians have always elected the opposite party provincially as we have federally (to maintain the balance of power). Now with a Federal Conservative majority, my new fear is that McGuinty will survive his well deserved demise in the fall.
    Life and politics are a trade-off. You gotta take the good with the bad. Same for this election. Certain individuals who were either past their expiration date or should not have been in the political arena at all, will not be returning to Ottawa. Alan Tonks can now come back into the municipal fold and work as a special consultant for Mr. Ford. Martha Hall Findlay and Maria Minna can both go back to doing whatever they used to do. Dan McTeague can now stop reporting that gas is going up all the time while doing nothing about it. Ken Drydren, well Ken will be appointed to the Senate, what else. Ruby Dhalla can now return to the silver screen and work on her acting, as her act as an M.P. was not Oscar material. At least she will have the extra time to spend with her housekeeping staff. Gerard Kennedy may be standing in line at the food bank that he used as a stepping stone on the way up. Mr. Ignatieff can now go back to lecturing, oh sorry, he never stopped lecturing. Helena Guergis will no longer have to spend time explaining. And the list goes on.
    I suppose that if the cost of accomplishing all of that is a Harper majority, then I can live with that. Having the NDP as the official opposition is OK as well, they will actually have less political power than when Harper had a minority, so now the government does not have to cater to their socialist policies.
    The Rob Ford political wave continued to wash over Toronto. We (all Canadians) benefited from the loss of Mr. Duceppe and the Bloc in one fell swoop. The NDP made gains in Quebec because the Bloc had done nothing for Quebecers and voters will not trust the Liberals or Conservatives with their future, so it is time for Quebec voters to repeat the Ontario (Bob Rae Experiment).
    So, the real test in Ontario in October, let’s see what happens then.
    In the meantime, I will watch the next 5 years closely to see what and if Bev Oda, Judy Sgro, Jim Flaherty, Caroyln Bennett, Bob Rae and Peter Kent do to secure their rightful places in history.

    • Cliff,
      I said wow because the voters chose a huge and historic change:
      1) the NDP got more seats then they ever have and became the official opposition for the first time ever.
      2) Voters gave the Stephen Harper Conservatives a majority for the first time after giving him two minority governments previously.
      3) The Bloc were almost wiped out completely left with only 4 seats and Gilles Duceppe did not win his own seat and has resigned as party leader.
      4) The Liberals had their poorest showing ever and are down to just 34 seats nationally and Michael Ignatieff lost his own seat and resigned as party leader.
      5) The Green party won its first seat with leader Elizabeth May winning a seat.
      So all those historic changes is why I said, “wow”.

  3. I feel sorry for Tim Hudak the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives who is running for the Premier’s job in October this year.
    Canadians just are unable to comprehend that they actually voted for a reform as opposed to a progressive Conservative and voters of Ontario forgot the butchering of important provincial programs the last PC government did here.
    On a radio talk show this morning the host said that the immigrants voted for the Conservative party I guess they must have forgot about this party’s feelings about Canadian citizens from foreign lands where they charged our people money to get on the plane to get them out of harms way when the country they were visiting had an uprising.
    The Canadian voters failed to see the Prime minister’s iron fist approach for governing in a minority government like limiting reporter’s questions and not allow them to cover the repatriation of our soldiers who died in a far of land in the beginning years of his government.
    The Conservatives put highly controversial bills on the back burner waiting for the day when they have a majority.
    The voters just fell for the political hucksters promising them a bill of goods that they will probably never see.
    Traditionally the party that rules the nation is opposite of the one that rules the province which is not good news for Tim Hudak.

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