Election results live-blogging, continued

01.23.06

10:01pm: Polls are closed everywhere now and results are legally allowed to be posted online. As of right now, the results are (elected or leading) 85 for the Tories, 70 for the Liberals, 28 for the Bloc and 23 for the NDP, with one Independent (in Quebec). The Conservatives have started to pull away a bit in the last few minutes, but it’s still a lot closer than a lot of people thought it would be. A Conservative minority is probable but a majority looks unlikely if these numbers hold.

10:02pm: With a bunch of cheesy fanfare, CTV just predicted a Conservative minority government.

10:08pm: CTV has Brian Mulroney on TV, from West Palm Beach, Florida. I’d kinda like to be there right now, personally.

10:09pm: The Bloc Quebecois is actually down from the last election in popular vote so far. This could be a good sign for us federalists. If the Bloc doesn’t make big gains tonight, it won’t be the springboard for sovereignty that Duceppe hoped for. Oh, I’m sure they’ll play the spin game regardless, but I’m hoping this is a sign of things to come.

10:14pm: Am I disappointed? Not really. Despite holding out hope, I didn’t really expect the Liberals to pull off a miracle tonight. And I’m not convinced by the scare tactics that the Conservatives are going to turn the country upside-down. Especially with a minority government that will need support from elsewhere in order to govern, I can’t imagine Harper doing anything to dramatic. This ought to give the Liberals a chance to get rid of Paul Martin, revitalize and move forward. One hopes, anyway. As for how the politicking will go, it’s a wait-and-see game at this point.

10:15pm: The NDP camp seems disappointed. So far their gains are very modest, if any. I can’t say I’m too upset by this news.

10:20pm: The Conservatives just officially won their first Quebec seat, in Louis St-Laurent. Judging by the results so far, there will be several more. Yes, I’ll say it, I was wrong.

10:30pm: If CTV’s projections hold, the Conservatives may even cross the double-digit seat threshold here in Quebec. I admit I never saw that coming. More of the seat gains seem to be coming at the Bloc’s expense than at the Liberals’, though, which is quite something when you consider that the Bloc was expected to sweep the province outside of Montreal just a month ago.

10:31pm: They’ve just declared Paul Martin elected. Small consolation for him, though. And Belinda Stronach was just declared officially elected as well, for the Liberals.

10:45pm: Marlene Jennings was just announced re-elected in my home riding of NDG-Lachine. No surprise there.

10:46pm: Current count (elected and leading): Conservatives 122, Liberals 103, Bloc Quebecois 50, NDP 29, and one independent. A small, shaky minority for the Tories, in other words. The good news is that the NDP will no longer hold the balance of power, because if these results hold, the Tories plus the NDP will be just shy of a majority. The bad news is that the balance of power will shift to the Bloc Quebecois, who are so far down from the last election but suddenly find themselves wielding a whole lot more power.

11:00pm: Pierre Pettigrew, who has been in cabinet forever, was just announced defeated. This is a big blow to the “old-guard” Liberals.

11:01pm: The NDP’s numbers keep climbing. I guess Layton’s bid for Liberal votes resonated with a enough Canadians to make some major gains. However, if the current numbers hold, the NDP will be 2 votes shy of holding the balance of power, so Layton can kiss the blackmail power he held with Martin goodbye.

11:06pm: Svend Robinson’s riding is the only one in Canada not yet reporting. If Vancouverites vote him back in, I’m seriously going to consider becoming a separatist, just to separate from them.

11:17pm: Preliminary turnout figures put the number at about 60%, which is historically low and similar to 2004’s numbers. Considering everyone had been predicting high turnout this time around, this is sure to be a disappointment to the parties and candidates. To me, it says that exceedingly negative campaigns, corrupt politicians, the “best of the worst” phenomenon, and the fact that only a few ridings are ever “swing” are in fact encouraging people to get disgusted with the whole process and stay home.

11:25pm: The Liberals lost but they have not been wiped off the political map. Far from it. They’re projected to win between 102 and 104 seats, which will make them a strong minority and well positioned for a comeback, as soon as Paul Martin is out and some new leadership is in.

11:30pm: This sums up the live-blogging for tonight. Of course I’ll post more thoughts later, but it’s pretty clear how things are going to turn out now. I’ll just wrap up by giving my grduging congratulations to Stephen Harper for a well-run campaign. Let’s hope that Harper recognizes he’s been given a shaky mandate, and governs accordingly.

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