It was boring, yet fascinating. The big picture didn’t change much, with the Conservatives still just below majority territory, then the Liberals, Bloc, NDP and two independents. But looking at the individual regions, plenty of stories to be told:
- Alberta: I’m a bit tired, but did the NDP just knock off a Tory in Alberta? Even the NDP candidate can’t seem to believe it. I’ll spare the dozens of links to predictors who joked about how much of a risk they were taking in predicting a blue Alberta sweep (ok, maybe just one. And one in today’s paper that got it wrong – more on that below). The Edmonton Journal marks this as a win for democracy, consistent with their earlier message that the Tories shouldn’t take Alberta for granted. Now, we ask: Is this the new Landslide Annie?
- With the NDP wins in Alberta, Quebec and Newfoundland, the NDP have MPs in eight provinces and a territory. Only Saskatchewan (ironically, the birthplace of the party) and P.E.I. don’t have NDP representation. The Liberals are in nine provinces (Alberta the exception), and the Conservatives also nine. The one missing province for the Tories?
- Newfoundland/Labrador. The ABC campaign worked, ridding the province of its three Conservative MPs and replacing them with two Liberals and a New Democrat (who won by a landslide). It worked so well, in fact, that premier Danny Williams has declared victory and said the war is over.
- Prince Edward Island. They saw this one coming, but the Tories have ended 20 years of Liberal rule of the province’s four ridings by eking out a narrow victory in Egmont. The last time any of PEI was painted blue was in the Tory landslide of 1984.
- Nova Scotia. Only two ridings of note here, and neither surprised anyone. Peter MacKay beat Elizabeth May handily in Central Nova, and ex-Tory Bill Casey won in a landslide in a riding whose name is too long for me to even cut and paste here, becoming one of only two independent MPs elected.
- New Brunswick. The Tories become the dominant party, replacing the Liberals by taking three of their seats, including Andy Scott’s old Fredericton riding.
- Quebec: A narrow win for André Arthur, who is the other independent MP. Tom Mulcair wins re-election (though it looked for a bit yesterday like it was going to go the other way), and remains Quebec’s only New Democrat (sorry Anne). Michael Fortier: No seat for you, and the Tories are once again shut out of Montreal. How Harper will deal with this problem is a good question, since he needs a cabinet member to deal with the regional portfolio.
- Ontario: The big story here, I think, is Garth Turner losing Halton as a Liberal. It’s a shame because, despite what you may think of his policies, Turner spoke his mind directly to the electorate, and has been replaced by what will undoubtedly be a party-loyal backbencher. Olivia Chow is going back to Ottawa to represent Trinity-Spadina, but the NDPs will focus on nearly sweeping northern Ontario, gaining five seats in the province.
- Manitoba: The Conservatives picked off two Liberals (including Tina Keeper), leaving only one left in Winnipeg South Centre. There’s plenty of NDP orange left in the province though.
- Saskatchewan: Ralph Goodale is a single red dot in an otherwise completely blue province, winning his Wascana riding.
- British Columbia: Few surprises here. I keep hearing about rural, coastal B.C. being ripe territory for a Green Party breakthrough, but no evidence of that is emerging and the Tories are dominant. Their best showing was in Okanagan-Shuswap, where they came in third with 17% of the vote.
- Territories: The Tories won Nunavut, marking their first win up north since 1984, when they swept all three ridings. That leaves the three parties each with a slice of the northern pie.
I’m sure I missed some other interesting local stories. Feel free to comment below.
What’s also interesting in Nova Scotia is that the NDP garnered almost the same popular vote as the Liberals, and that the Halifax riding proved that Alexa McDonough’s broad, non-partisan appeal wasn’t limited to her appeal. Newcomer Megan Leslie kept the riding.
That’s true Phil, however the Dippers did lose Yukon which they had held going back to the MP days of another former leader, Audrey McLaughlin.