By Tina Comeau
For voters who were tiring of repeated federal elections, there won’t be another one any time soon as the political landscape in this country underwent a major change in the May 2 election.
Throughout the election campaign Stephen Harper asked voters to give him a majority government and on May 2 the voters delivered.
During this election the Conservatives won 167 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons.
Stephen Harper easily won his own seat with 43,002 votes. His next closet opponent was NDP candidate Holly Heffernan who had 6,823 votes.
Another big story of the evening was the NDP surge that has propelled the NDP to Official Opposition status. The party won 102 seats.
In his riding NDP leader Jack Layton won his seat with 60.5 per cent of the vote, which translated into 28,998 votes.
The Liberal party was a distant third with 34 seats, falling from the 77 seats the party had prior to the election. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was in a fight to hang onto his seat as the results were coming in during the evening. He ended up losing his seat to the Conservative candidate by a margin of 2,905 votes.
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The morning after the election Ignatieff announced he is resigning as leader of the Liberal party.
The gain of the NDP in this election not only came at the expense of the Liberal party which lost votes or saw its votes split, but also the Bloc Quebecois, which had a disastrous showing in this election. When Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe spoke to his party at 12:48 a.m., his party was only elected in two seats. When all the results were counted the Bloc had won only four seats. Duceppe is not one of those elected to the House of Commons. He lost the seat he had held since 1990 and announced – when he addressed his party on election night – that he is stepping down as leader of the Bloc.
In Duceppe's riding the NDP candidate Hélène Laverdière was eleted with 23,377. Duceppe had 17,984 votes.
Another historic aspect to the election came from the other side of the country.
Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party, won her seat, defeating the Conservative incumbent and cabinet minister Gary Lunn in the Vancouver Island riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands. May becomes Canada's first elected Green MP in the House of Commons. May had 31,900 votes, compared to 24,541 for Lunn.
Canada's new political landscape:
Conservatives 167 seats
NDP 102 seats
Liberals 34 seats
Bloc Quebecois 4 seats
Green Party 1 seat
Percentage of popular vote:
Bloc Quebecois 6%
Green Party 4.8%