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Canada’s 2011 election transforms political landscape

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won 167 electoral districts in yesterday's election, above the 155 seats needed to form a majority in the Canadian Parliament. The New Democratic Party, led by Jack Layton, won 102 seats, and will be the Official Opposition for the first time in it’s history.

The NDP displaced the Liberal Party, which was reduced to 34 seats, the lowest total in history. The NDP also won almost all of the ridings previously held by the separatist Bloc Quebecois in Quebec, which shrunk to four seats from 49 in 2008.

The Conservatives won nearly half of the seats in Toronto, twice as many as the Liberals.

The Bloc Québécois no longer qualifies for official party status. And Green Party Leader Elizabeth May won the party’s first seat.
Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe lost his seat and resigned as did Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

The Conservatives and NDP now emerge as national parties with support across all regions of the country, but the Tories find themselves as a majority government with only a handful of Quebec seats.

The Conservatives were elected in 167 ridings, and the NDP in 102. The Liberals were elected in 34 ridings. The Bloc had only four candidates elected.

The next Canadian Parliament will have a majority government with an Official Opposition left of centre, but a majority government does not require the support of opposition parties to pass laws

Jack Layton’s left-wing party saw support climb to almost 31 per cent. The Conservatives' popular vote was close to the 40-per-cent mark, while the Liberals vote plummeted to 19 per cent from 26 per cent.

In Quebec, the New Democrats won a surprising victory, electing candidates in 58 of 75 ridings.

May 3, 2011

* Prime minister Stepehen Harper during his campaign. Image:

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