May 3 2011
Canadians elected a historic government to office on Monday, handing the Conservatives their long-coveted majority and promoting the NDP to Official Opposition status for the first time ever.
National Post – The Liberals were reduced to less than half the seats they won in the last election, and the Bloc Quebecois dwindled to just a handful of seats in a province that, for the first time in 20 years, handed the majority of its seats to a federalist party.
The damage to the Liberals and Bloc was so severe that even leaders Michael Ignatieff and Gilles Duceppe were on track to lose their seats in Ontario and Quebec. Mr. Duceppe, in fact, immediately announced his resignation as leader of the sovereigntist party, declaring in his concession speech: “I am leaving, but others will follow, until Quebec becomes a party.”
With all 308 ridings reporting as of 11:50 p.m. EST, the Tories were leading or had won 165 seats — well past the 155 needed for a majority — and the NDP were leading or had won 104 ridings — nearly tripling the 36 seats it gleaned in 2008. A decimated Liberal Party was on track to win just 35 seats, and the Bloc Quebecois were poised to glean just three.
Late into Monday night, both the Conservatives and NDP were picking up seats everywhere from a wounded, Ignatieff-led Liberal party that lost five of its east coast MPs and dozens of others throughout Ontario and Quebec.
In television ads and at campaign rallies, Mr. Harper pitched his party as the most reliable economic steward to govern through country through a fragile recovery.