Harper’s party wins more seats than in 2006 election but remains a minority government in Canada

STEPHEN.HARPER.PRIME.MINISTER.CANADA

STEPHEN HARPER, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA

The Conservative party of Stephen Harper failed in its goal of becoming the majority party in Canada’s election on October 14.  The Conservatives slightly increased its 2006 total of 36.3 percent to about 37 percent.  But for the third straight election, the Tories were unable to win the support of a majority of Canadians.

The number of seats won in the election was Conservatives (143), Liberals (76), Bloc Quebecois (50) and New Democratic Party (37).  There were also two independents who won seats.  The Canadian Press called the Tories the “muscular minority.”

The Liberals received 26 percent of the vote — the lowest level of popular support since the election of 1867.  The NDP received 18 percent of the vote while Bloc Quebecois received 10 percent and the Greens received seven percent.

The Tories were hoping to become a majority government by making gains in Quebec.  However, they did not increase the 10 seats in Quebec that they won in the 2006 election.  

Jack Layton’s NDP gained eight seats  

The Bloc Quebecois of Gilles Duceppe had 50 seats by the end of the vote count, which was one less than the 2006 election.  The Liberal Party of Stephane Dion lost 19 seats while Jack Layton’s NDP gained eight seats.  For the Liberals, its 26.2 percent share of the popular vote was the lowest share of the vote that the party ever received.  It was even below the 28 percent under John Turner in 1984.  For the NDP, it was the second best result in the party’s history.

“Without the Bloc Quebecois, Stephen Harper would be forming a majority government,” said Mr. Duceppe.

“The Canadian people have spoken and chosen a very conservative government,” Mr.  Dion said.  “We Liberals will do our part to make sure that this parliament works.”

“I  believe that our message, that it’s time for a prime minister and a government that actually stands up for working families, really got through,” Mr. Layton told reporters Tuesday morning.

Less than 60 percent of eligible voters took part in the election, which was the lowest percentage in federal election history.

Mr. Harper called the election on Sept. 7, when the held seats were Conservatives (127), Liberals (95), Bloc Quebecois (45) and NDP (30).  There were four independents and four vacant seats.

The Conservatives made their best showing in Ontario, where they won 51 of the province’s 106 seats, and in British Columbia, where the Tories picked up four additional seats.  The Tories won no seats in Newfoundland and had poor results in Quebec.

The loss of 19 seats by the Liberals puts Mr. Dion’s position with the party in jeopardy.

“Many senior Grits are privately predicting Liberal Leader Dion will be forced to quit within the next few weeks if he doesn’t voluntarily resign first,” reported Joan Bryden of The Canadian Press.

Photo Credit:

Government of Canada

PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER WITH CHILDREN RACHEL AND BENJAMIN AND WIFE LAUREEN

PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER WITH CHILDREN RACHEL AND BENJAMIN AND WIFE LAUREEN

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