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January 23, 2006
Canadian Election Live Blog

6:30 - I'm off to a late start, thanks to a last-moment emergency at work. Now that I'm home, the First Mate has me fixed up with dinner and I'll be eating while blogging. (Excuse typos for a while, IOW.) We're still two hours ahead of poll closings in Canada, and I'm a bit behind on my e-mail. C-SPAN 2 will have Canadian TV coverage at 8:30 CT. CTV has their explanation of the publication ban already posted.

I'll be back in a few ...

6:58 - It looks like the first results are starting to come in. I'm trying to make sense of the data I'm seeing, but it looks like the first handful of ridings that can be called are going to the Liberals more than the Tories. They're leading in 15 ridings and four of those look solid enough to call, while the the Conservatives lead in 5 and 3 can be called. I'm missing the geography involved at the moment, but it looks like the Tories should get a move on ...

7:15 - Sorry for the delay. The numbers I'm seeing are for the Maritimes. It looks like the overall Liberal vote there is edging the Tories, 42.9% - 39.7%, with NDP at 15.8%. Ipsos had the Tories ahead by 2 points a couple of days ago, but having them run this closely is a pretty good development so far. I'm checking some other numbers right now ...

7:30 - Whew. I'm having a hell of a time updating posts here, but that's a great problem to have when you're blogging. So far, the Maritimes look like a Liberal stronghold again; they have 19 ridings to 10 for the Tories and 3 for the NDP. Holding their seats thus far are Andy Scott (L), Scott Brison (L), Loyola Hearn (C); Andy Savoie (L) looks to be losing in NB, and Paul Zed having a tough time but staying above water in Saint John.

Comments may not be functioning due to the traffic levels. Be patient and keep trying!

7:35 - Thanks to CQ reader Norman D who reminds me that "Maritimes" does not refer to Newfoundland. I believe the results we're seeing are from all four provinces in the Atlantic, which is a more accurate way to portray them.

7:53 - It looks like the Tories may have picked up a couple of seats in the Atlantic, but probably no more than that. The Conservatives will look for bigger gains elsewhere anyway. I don't think anyone expected a big turnaround for Tory fortunes in the Atlantic, but the polling there shows that Ipsos may have been off in its projections.

8:11 - Quebec and Ontario results will start coming through shortly ... It looks like the Grits lost a few seats, perhaps as many as three., in the Atlantic. Two have gone to the Conservatives.

8:16 - Right now the Atlantic looks like this: Libs - 19, CPC - 11, NDP - 3.

8:21 - Hmm, I'm having an easier time updating for the moment. I should note that Newsbeat1, Small Dead Animals, and Steve Janke have been very helpful in my efforts to keep up with the latest in Canadian news, and I would be seriously remiss if I didn't thank them tonight.

8:39 - Libs - 20, CPC - 11, NDP - 4, B - 1.

8:43 - C-SPAN has the results coming through now. They have Libs leading 40 to 16 for CPC, but that's mostly in the east.

8:47 - Now they have some other numbers flying in. L-43, C-24, N-9, B-4.

8:53 - With the prairies and Ontario reporting now, it's almost evened up. 56-55 Libs-CPC. Now it's 56-all!

8:57 - Here's an interesting development; early polling shows the Tories leading in seven Quebec ridings! They're leading in 32 Ontario ridings as well, to the Libs 40. Nationally, they lead the Libs 82-69 for the moment.

9:03 - Ralph Goodale, the embattled Finance Minister involved in the insider-trading scandal, has been projected the winner in his riding. He joins Scott Brison and Peter MacKay as holds for the moment ... 95-87 C-L at the moment.

9:10 - Michelle says that people still are having trouble hitting the site. We're getting some huge traffic here, so please be patient.

9:11 - The CBC has called the election for Harper and the Conservatives, but in a minority. That's about what we figured earlier, too. However, one very surprising result has come out of Quebec, where so far the CPC has gotten about 31% of the vote -- and the Liberals have almost disappeared. A huge development, and one that will probably force BQ to move closer to the CPC.

9:20 - Right now, with the west still largely silent, the Tories lead 110-88, and they picked up 16 seats so far in Ontario. To me, this looks like a possible CPC majority win, not just a minority.

9:26 - It looks like the Tories took 10 ridings in Quebec, all in rural areas, but that's 10 more than they had before.

9:33 -- No, the minority call is the right one, my math was off. I was enjoying the First Mate's fruit salad a little too much to concentrate properly. Right now with 20 ridings left to hear from, we're still at 115 Tory, 99 Grits.

9:39 - Right now I'd say that the Tories will wind up with about 25 more seats than the Liberals when all is said and done, maybe a couple less. Based on the polls done before the election, that's a better showing than I expected for the Liberals, but there is still no doubt that tonight has been a debacle for Martin and his party. How they could allow the Tories to outpoll them by such a wide margin in Quebec will be the big question of this election. The CPC has taken 36.3% share of the vote, about 5 points up on the Liberals, which is about where SES Research had the election.

9:51 - Tony Valeri lost his seat to the NDP in Ontario, where it looks like Layton may have picked up as many as 5 seats at the expense of the Liberals.

9:58 - It looks like Belinda Stronach will return to Parliament.

10:01 - Alberta brought in all 28 ridings for the CPC, which means the Liberals lost their only two seats in this province.

10:07 - The numbers have been pretty steady for the last ten to fifteen minutes, 123-102 Tories to Libs. It moves one to two seats each way every couple of moments, but it looks like that's the spread we'll see. How galling it will be to Paul Martin that losing his grip on Quebec made the difference in this election -- that was a potential 20-seat swing.

10:18 - So much for the winter-election effect; the turnout will wind up being higher this time than in 2004, according to the CBC.

10:29 - Stronach offers her victory speech for Newmarket-Aurora Liberals. "I love you all," she tells her staff, and then she thanks the Liberal Party for working "tirelessly" for her. I wonder if that will prove comforting when she crosses the aisle again to try to join the new Cabinet.

10:48 - Getting slower updates now, or the changes have come slower, at least. Still 123-104, Tories over Grits. The best description of the minority government win comes from Diana Ablonczy, the Tory winner: "Canadians decided that they wanted a change, but they want to take the Conservatives for a test drive, and we're happy with that."

10:50 - The CBC asks Stronach about crossing the aisle to support a losing cause, and Stronach says that one can't go wrong when following one's heart. I wonder if Peter MacKay has anything to say about that comment.

11:37 - It looks like the split will be 124-103 Tories, with BQ getting 51 and 29 going to the NDP. Jack Layton is congratulating the crowd. The NDP wound up increasing their representation by a half-dozen ridings, a bit fewer than we first thought, but still an impressive showing. The Tories took a six-point lead in the overall voting, a bit less than predicted, but right about what SES Research showed in its final polling. Both parties will wind up with bragging rights tonight, and the Liberals and BQ will have to ask themselves what happened. Paul Martin, the answer for the Libs, will not last much longer as leader of the Grits when that question gets answered.

Congratulations to the Tories, and to Canada, which showed how a national election should be held.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 23, 2006 6:30 PM

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