January 23, 2006

Let the counting begin

Here we go. Now that the polls have closed in Ontario, some of the results are starting to be reported from the Maritimes.

I am repeating CTV poll results; not because I favour their reporting over any other network, simply because I hate flipping through channels continually.

9:30 pm EST

» Liberals: 19
Conservatives: 10
NDP: 3
BQ: 1

CTV is now projecting wins by Liberal/Conservative turncoat Scott Brison, former Conservative leader Peter MacKay, and former NDP leader Alexa McDonough.

10:00 pm EST

Liberals: 69
» Conservatives: 82
NDP: 28
BQ: 16
Independent: 1

About 9:45, the Conservative numbers started to rocket upward, and they are now leading. This is expected, as Canada tends to lean more to the right the farther left (ironically) you go on the map, excepting the West Coast.

Here in Ottawa, the polls haven't started reporting yet in strength. Where numbers have come in, the Liberals are tending to hold their seats; the exception at this point seems to be Ottawa West, where Conservative John Baird is in the lead. In Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, CTV is declaring CPC Cheryl Gallant re-elected. In Ottawa Centre (formerly held by ex-NDP leader Ed Broadbent), there's a three-way race between Keith Fountain (CPC), Richard Mahoney (Lib) and Paul Dewar (NDP), with Conservative Keith Fountain in the lead.

10:30 pm EST

Liberals: 96
» Conservatives: 112
NDP: 25
BQ: 50
Independent: 1

Moments after my last update, CTV officially called a Conservative minority government. (Ha! I was right!)

In Quebec, the Liberals are losing big to the Conservatives, losing about half their representation. Their loss is the Tories' gain; this is significant, considering the Tories have over 100 years of French-Canadian animosity to overcome. The (ex) Prime Minister has been re-elected in Lasalle-Emard, but he had to fight for it.

In Ottawa South, Brother of Dalton is re-elected, winning handily over Allan Cutler. They're partying in Ottawa West: John Baird, a Cabinet hopeful, has taken the riding from the Liberals. Ottawa-Orleans is still too close to call, with the Liberal incumbent Marc Godbout fighting to retain his seat by a handful of votes. Ottawa Centre is still a nail-biter, only now Fountain is trailing, and the race is between the Liberals and the N-dippies.

11:00 pm EST

Liberals: 103
» Conservatives: 122
NDP: 31
BQ: 50
Independent: 1

Understandably, the numbers have settled down from previous updates; as more and more polls report in, the general voting trends have pretty much solidified. This isn't to say there may not be a few surprises to come - after all, there have been very few reports as yet from British Columbia.

Belinda Stronach, former Liberal cabinet minister, Conservative leadership candidate, and general opportunist has been re-elected. (Wonder how long before she tries to make a deal with Harper to get back on the government side of the floor? Ha!)

I'm tempted to change channels, as the scrawl on CJOH is showing only local results.

In Ottawa-Vanier, Liberal incumbent Mauril Belanger is re-elected. Paul Dewar has just been called in Ottawa Centre, which remains an NDP riding. Ottawa-Orleans remains too close to call. Gordon O'Connor, Conservative incumbent and likely our next Minister of Defense, has been re-elected in Carleton-Mississippi Mills. Pierre Poilievre, Conservative, is re-elected in Nepean-Carleton.

11:30 pm EST

» Conservatives: 123
Liberals: 104
NDP: 30
BQ: 50
Independent: 1

OK, I got tired of looking at Ottawa-only results, so I switched to NewsNet - same commentary, different scrawl. A few national results of note: Former Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew is out. Justice Minister Irwin Cotler is still in, but I'll bet the gun registry isn't. Former Reform Party/Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day has been re-elected. Former Liberal government leader Tony Valeri has been defeated in Hamilton. Ex-Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan is currently trailing in Edmonton, but that race is still up for grabs. Finally, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale has been re-elected.

I notice that in my hometown riding, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, the incumbent Brent St. Denis is still fighting it out. This is significant, as the riding is a Liberal bastion; St. Denis is literally the second MP they have had since Lester Pearson was their member (and Prime Minister) - and his predecessor, Maurice Foster, was a longtime Lib MP as well.

In Toronto, Olivia Chow (NDP) has defeated the Liberal incumbent in Trinity-Spadina. The Klander blog that called her a dog enraged the Chinese community; the Grits didn't have a chance. Chow is the wife of NDP leader Jack Layton. I may be wrong, but I believe they are the first married couple to serve together in Parliament.

In Ottawa, all 18 ridings have now been called except for Ottawa-Orleans, which remains tight - Conservative candidate Royal Galipeau has taken the lead from Godbout by a mere 49 votes.

Meanwhile, just across the river in the Pontiac riding, Lawrence Cannon, whom Stephen Harper has said will be a part of his Cabinet, grabbed the district from the Liberals.

I really need a bathroom break.

Paul Martin looks tired.

Magic number for a majority government is 155.

11:30 pm EST - that's the ball game

No real surprises in the last half hour; the numbers haven't changed:

» Conservatives: 123
Liberals: 104
NDP: 30
BQ: 50
Independent: 1

Only news of note: Liberal Hedy Fry has been re-elected in Vancouver Centre, beating out Svend "Klepto" Robinson. The latter garnered a not insignificant number of votes, suggesting that there is a lot of leftist Kool-Aid being drunk in Vancouver.

CTV has reported that Paul Martin has made a congratulatory phone call to Stephen Harper, so despite all the cant on the news, there probably will not be some kind of constitutional crisis over his refusing to concede the election. (Canada is not Miami-Dade.) As I write this, he is making his way to the podium to speak, and I assume he will probably say something conciliatory, and likely also in French.

Anyway, that wraps it up for me. Night all.