Federal Election 2011: Live
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Federal Election 2011: Live

Photo by Joel Charlebois/Torontoist.

As the results come in we’ll be providing updates from key campaigns, announcing winners as they are declared, and trying to understand what it all means. For background on the campaign and Toronto’s role in it head over to our politics hub and click on the map to find out more about a specific riding.

1:33 AM: We’ll have analysis and local perspective for you in the morning. Get some rest, Toronto. HD
1:33 AM: Rex Murphy: “I hope [Stephen Harper’s] personality is enough to grow along with his victory.” Then Rex Murphy started playing with My Little Ponies, explaining that friendship is magic. CB
1:20 AM: Harper says he will be the government of all Canadians, “even those who did not vote for us.” That would be a new idea for him. CB
1:19 AM: Peter Mansbridge calls forty percent of the vote an “overwhelming mandate.” Fuck off, Peter Mansbridge. Forty percent means “less likely to happen than a coinflip.” CB
1:07 AM: Tories gearing up for Stephen Harper, who will be making his speech shortly. HD
1:05 AM: The 41st Parliament will have, based on current results, 77 female MPs—40 of them from the NDP caucus.HD
1:01 AM: Remaining Toronto races still not declared: Etobicoke Centre (Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj up by 14 votes), Don Valley West (Conservative John Carmichael up by 624 votes), Scarborough Centre (Conservative Roxanne James up by 1,279 votes), Scarborough Southwest (NDP Dan Harris up by 1,023 votes), and Scarborough-Guildwood (Liberal John McKay up by 488). JB
12:52 AM: People on the CBC are explaining that despite Layton’s speech, he does not in fact have any power. Well, duh, CBC people. Duh. CB

Photos by Dean Bradley/Torontoist.

12:48 AM: I kind of hope that, after these pretty unsurprising victory speeches, Stephen Harper’s is just a giant series of “fuck yous.” Come on. You know he wants to. CB
12:48 AM: As for parallels between the rise of the NDP and the rise of the British Labour Party, one could look to the 1922 British election, where Labour gained 85 seats to form the official opposition to the Conservatives, thanks to the split in the Liberal ranks. JB
12:40 AM: In a night of many surprises, here is one more—and an unfortunate one at that. Despite a big spike in voter turnout at advance polls, turnout for this election is looking to be low again. (Last election voter participation was 58.8%; we’re on track for a similar number this year.) HD
12:38 AM: The Liberals have never seen a popular vote as low as their current standing of 18.7%…not even when they were a loosely united group of candidates during Canada’s first election in 1867. Comparisons are being made to the utter collapse of the Liberal party in Great Britain after World War I, but the fall of that party also involved a series of splits – imagine if the Martin wing of the Canadian Liberals had become their own independent caucus during the Chretien era. JB
12:33 AM: And just an hour after Iggy’s speech, Liberal HQ are virtually empty. CD
12:29 AM: “Let me tell you this: spring is here my friends, and a new chapter begins.” Jack Layton beginning his speech now, beaming. HD
12:29 AM: Peter Mansbridge and the other CBC talking heads joking about that one newly-elected MP in Quebec, the one who doesn’t speach French and manages a bar and was on vacation for most of the election, and the jealousy is palpable, and I hope that new MP shoves it right down their throats. Get over it. It’s politics. CB
12:17 AM: Toronto number of the night: the Conservatives now have at least 30 of the GTA’s 44 seats. HD

Conservative: 167
NDP: 103
Liberal: 34
BQ: 3
Green: 1

12:15 AM: You know, it would be kind of nice if the newly elected Green Party leader would talk about the environment in her speech. CB
12:14 AM: Bernard Trottier elected in Etobicoke Lakeshore. So long, Ignatieff. CB

Riding: Etobicoke-Lakeshore

12:13 AM: “I will never shrink from speaking truth to power, nor will I embrace the politics of spin.” Elizabeth May, Canada’s first Green Party MP. HD

Elected: BOB RAE (Liberal)
Riding: Toronto Centre

12:09 AM: Though, on Twitter someone rightly points out that it isn’t quite that clear cut, since Liberal/NDP supporters wouldn’t necessarily have ranked each other first and second in all cases. HD
12:03 AM: Dave Meslin tweeted that if we had instant-runoff voting the Tories wouldn’t have won a single riding in Toronto other than York Centre. He is wrong: with IRV they would have lost York Centre as well. CB
12:01 AM: Etobicoke Centre update: Liberals leading by ONE VOTE. CB
11:59 PM:The only non-Conservative to lead in York Region, John McCallum (Liberal) in Markham-Unionville, declared elected. JB

Riding: York-South Weston

11:51 PM: Gilles Duceppe has just announced he’ll be stepping down as leader of the Bloc. HD
11:51 PM: Elizabeth May wins in Saanich-Gulf Islands! First Green MP in history! CB
11:46 PM: Even as the disbelief starts to wear off and Liberal supporters look ahead to re-evaluating their party and moving forward, it is an incredibly sad place to be. There are tears, and hugs. At least two people are too distraught to speak with me. CC

Liberal supporters as the Conservative majority is announced. Photo by Christopher Drost/Torontoist.

11:44 PM: Olivia chow speaking to a packed room at the convention center, at about 11:20 p.m. DB

Photo by Dean Bradley/Torontoist.

11:40 PM: David Frum on Twitter: “Just shows what a multi-ethnic, socially tolerant, right-of-center party under a calm and responsible leader can do.” Unfortunately, since Twitter is limited to 140 characters, he wasn’t able to add the rest of that sentence, which is “…when they can win an election with forty percent of the vote because the left vote is divided among multiple opponents.” CB
11:40 PM: The Liberals were trying to find a centrist position that nobody was interested in. With the Cons right-centre and the NDP left-centre, there’s no centre-centre anymore. All they did was annoy people by calling themselves the only alternative. PM
11:37 PM: Checking in on Toronto Green and fringe results, the highest vote counts for either are in Toronto-Danforth: Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu (Green, 2,406) and Marie Crawford (Animal Alliance Environmental Voters, 320). JB
11:35 PM: Liberals need to understand it’s not about the leaders. Nobody wanted what they were selling. PM
11:34 PM: Global reporting that 65% of Liberals want Ignatieff turfed as Liberal party leader. Not particularly shocking.
Justin Trudeau the prohibitive favorite to replace him, with 40% support in that poll. CB

Photo by Christopher Drost/Torontoist.

11:30 PM: Etobicoke Centre: twenty-two votes splitting the Tories and trailing Grits. CB
11:28 PM: Gilles Duceppe has lost his seat to the NDP. Iggy is on the brink of losing his, too. HD
11:26 PM: FUN FACTS: Every single riding the Tories have won or are threatening to win in the entire GTA would not be theirs if we had either instant-runoff voting or one political party for the left. CB
11:25 PM: Scarborough-Guildwood looks like the city’s biggest nail-biter: John McKay (Lib) leading Chuck Konkel (Con) by four votes. JB

Elected: JOE OLIVER (Cons.)
Riding: Eglinton-Lawrence

11:18 PM: “There should be no tears. there should be pride—for what we fought for, for what we believed…And I shall play any role the party wishes me to play…as we fight for the renewal of Canadian politics.” If Iggy had given more speeches like this in the past two years, who knows where we’d be? HD
11:16 PM: Wow, I’m impresssed that Ignatieff just accepted responsibility for the Liberals’ loss. I wish he had realized earlier he was a terrible politician, of course, but still, that was classy. CB
11:14 PM: Ignatieff concession speech: “Leaders have to be big enough to accept historic responsibility for a historic defeat. And I do so.” Very gracious.PM
11:13 PM: “I want to offer my open-hearted congratulations to Stephen Harper,” says Iggy, who has just begun his concession speech. HD
11:12 PM: First cheers at Liberal party come at 11:07 as campaign worker steps up to the stage to welcome crowd and introduce Christine Innis. “I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you.”CC

Elected: MARK ADLER (Con.)
Riding: York Centre
Riding: Beaches-East York
Elected: CAROLYN BENNETT (Liberal—incumbent)
Riding: St. Paul’s

11:08 PM: It’s a solemn group of people here [at Liberal HQ] right now, trying to come to terms with the disaster they hoped wouldn’t happen. People do not want to talk to me. “I’m still trying to absorb it,” one supporter tells me. CC

Elected: OLIVIA CHOW (NDP—incumbent)
Riding: Trinity Spadina
Riding: Parkdale-High Park
Riding: Davenport

11:05 PM: I call bullshit on that Patrick. Tories had a blowout loss in living memory, and they certainly came back. Too soon to write obits. HD
11:05 PM: Sun TV saying that Stephen Harper has ended the era of the Liberal party, as the British Liberals were destroyed eighty years ago. Probably right. PM
11:04 PM: It’s a bittersweet atmosphere at the Metro Convention Centre [NDP HQ]. Hopeful, definitely. A little somber, but faithful are talking about the fight ahead, fully energized. TA
11:03 PM: Best coined phrase so far: “Grit-dammerung”PM

Conservatives: 164
NDP: 108
Liberal: 31
Bloc: 3
Other: 1

11:01 PM: Patrick: You have to wonder how many of those Liberals are saying “Jack Layton.” CB
11:01 PM:

Liberal Party headquarters at the Sheraton Centre. Photos by Christopher Drost/Torontoist.

10:38 PM: Still no results tabulated from Elizabeth May’s riding. HD
10:37 PM: BQ only leading in four ridings. Need twelve to be a recognized party in the Commons.PM
10:37 PM: HD
10:37 PM: Linda Duncan still leading in her riding in Edmonton, the orange island in the sea of blue. CB
10:35 PM: Chris Alexander in Ajax-Pickering is explaining that the Tories won because “they showed respect to Canadian voters.” Wait, what? The Conservative strategy for the entire election has been to avoid speaking with the public as much as humanly possible, from Stephen Harper on down, and to present their candidates as extension of a brand. Also, there was all that lying to the general public they did. CB
10:35 PM: It’s been like a flight in a thunderstorm for the last ten minutes [at NDP HQ]. Gasps sweeping through the crowd as polls flirt with a majority. TA
10:35 PM: NDP candidates in Quebec are winning and Sun TV doesn’t even have pictures. Anybody but Bloc.PM
10:31 PM: Toronto ridings updates! York Centre, currently held by Liberal Ken Dryden: 4437 (Conservative); 3508 (Liberal); 1923 (NDP). Eglinton-Lawrence, currently held by Liberal Joe Volpe: 2075 (Liberal); 1944 (Conservatives); 759 (NDP). Peggy Nash (NDP) is leading in Parkdale-High Park by over 1,000 votes. And early signs are that Trinity-Spadina, which some predicted would be a tight race between Liberal Christine Innes and NDP incumbent Olivia Chow, will be a clear win for Chow. HD
10:30 PM: CBC not ready to call majority; Tory lead in many of its ridings less than 100 votes at the moment. HD
10:30 PM: City declared Conservative majority. JB
10:29 PM: Tory share of vote: 40 percent even. CB
10:27 PM: Hey, anybody want to give me an over/under on the number of seats that the Tories will win due to votesplitting on the left? I’ll go with 45. CB

Conservatives: 154
NDP: 99
Liberal: 30
Bloc: 4

10:25 PM: We’re a hair’s breadth from breaking 100. Never seen this sort of energy out of the NDP. TA
10:24 PM: At NDP HQ: don’t trash the stash. DB

Photo by Dean Bradley/Torontoist.

10:22 PM: Michael Ignatieff now trailing in Etobicoke-Lakeshore, with 36 of 279 polls reporting. I would like to point out, for the record, that I have been calling Ignatieff useless for three years now. So…yeah, I told you so. CB
10:21 PM: Incidentally, worth pointing out that the NDP share of the vote in Quebec is forty-one percent, and that they’re poised to take the overwhelming majority of seats. Meanwhile, the Bloc is simply being annihilated, leading in only three ridings. What. The. Hell. CB
10:20 PM: With only 10 of 201 polls reporting, Peggy Nash (NDP) has a 200 vote lead over Liberal incumbent Gerard Kennedy. HD
10:20 PM: So far, based on CBC, the highest vote total for any Green candidate in Toronto belongs to Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu in Toronto-Danforth (277 votes). For fringe parties, independent Mark Balack in Scarborough-Rouge River is at the head of the pack (60 votes), followed by Libertarian/graphic novelist Chester Brown in Trinity-Spadina (42 votes). JB
10:19 PM: Reminder: the NDP’s previous seat record was 43. They are currently sitting at 94.HD
10:18 PM: Very tight race in Scarborough Centre right now, with the NDP barely leading over the Tories to the tune of eighty votes. Martha Hall Findlay trailing the Tory in Willowdale by about 150 votes. CB
10:17 PM: Sun TV, from NDP HQ here in Toronto: orange pompoms being waved, Orange Crush being served at the bar. PM
10:16 PM: As yet unspoken: the Tories are threatening a majority with approximately 38% of the vote. How is this democratic again? CB
10:16 PM: Andrew Coyne: “I don’t see how the Conservatives don’t get a majority at this point.” HD

Conservatives: 142
NDP: 87
Liberal: 29
Bloc: 4

10:11 PM: CityTV at Jim Flaherty’s election headquarters in Whitby. It is still quite somber. Ditto Fantino in Vaughan. Nobody is partying yet. CB
10:10 PM: City at Ken Dryden’s party. Crickets chirping. JB
10:08 PM: It’s really weird in here. Room still dominated by media with no real sign of actual Liberal supporters. (Or maybe they are just trying to blend in with the media?). Almost zero reaction in the room when CBC announced the Conservatives will form government. CC
10:07 PM: CBC reporting early leads in Toronto ridings: Scarborough Southwest Tories (88 over 81 NDP, 65 Grit); Don Valley West (165 over 103 Grit, 21 NDP), Etobicoke North (84 over 67 Grit, 54 NDP), Etobicoke Centre (870 over 812 Grit, 454 NDP), Eglinton Lawrence (386 over 167 Grit), York Centre (1270 over 919 Grit, 605 NDP), and Michael Ignatieff is only leading by one vote in Etobicoke Lakeshore. CB
9:57 PM: For the sake of comparison, in the last parliament here is where the parties were at: 143 (Conservativies); 77 (LIberals); 36 (NDP); 47 (Bloc). HD

Conservatives: 132
NDP: 76
Liberal: 30
Bloc: 4

9:53 PM: First update on Toronto on CBC Radio: Conservatives leading in 4 metro ridings, including York Centre. JB
9:53 PM: Global saying whether Harper gets a minority or majority will be determined by 17 seats in Ontario. We are indeed the centre of the universe.PM
9:52 PM: Everyone at the Convention Centre [NDP central tonight] is going to need lozenges tomorrow. TA
9:51 PM: All seat projections courtesy of the CBC. HD

Conservatives: 70
NDP: 29
Liberal: 26
Bloc: 4

9:48 PM: SunTV are complaining again about the CBC “breaking the rules” and how Elections Canada isn’t regulating “the state broadcaster.” When election night ratings come out and it was just me and six old white people in Banff watching this channel, they’ll have a built-in excuse. CB
9:43 PM: Meanwhile, as other networks are already projecting the next government, SunTV is explaining that Gary Lunn, as Minister for Sport, “brought us the Olympics.” CB
9:43 PM: Global already projecting the Cons will form the government, and the NDP will be the opposition. Sorry if you just voted in BC. PM
9:41 PM: t’s still fairly quiet over here at Club Liberal. Mostly media setting up and waiting for the show to really get going. CC
9:41 PM: Warren Kinsella just said, with a straight face, that Michael Ignatieff “ran a great campaign.” No. Really. He said that. CB

Conservative: 22
Liberal: 17
NDP: 11

9:36 PM: Cool—Global showing a map of the Con inroads to GTA that looks like the battle of Stalingrad. Lots of words like “skirmishing” and “counterattack”. PM
9:36 PM: Meanwhile, on SunTV, while other channels are starting to air actual results, they’re still in sneak-preview mode. WAY TO BE A NEWS CHANNEL, GUYS! CB
9:33 PM: Here we go! Atlantic Canada coming up: Leading/Elected Con 14; Lib 12; NDP 7. Cons up 3 from existing Parliament. PM
9:31 PM: At 9:20 the doors opened at the NDP party at the convention center. DB

Photo by Dean Bradley/Torontoist.

9:30 PM: SunTV now panicking about Supreme Court judges and how the SCC will soon hear the polygamy case and “whether a dominatrix can shack up next door to you.” How am I supposed to make jokes about these people? Is this an intentional strategy on their part? CB
9:29 PM: SunTV is now complaining about how the CBC put up full graphics of who was winning in Atlantic ridings, while also scolding Elections Canada for threatening “ordinary, hardworking Canadians,” and totally dissing the CBC every chance they get. I seriously don’t know how I’m going to watch this for much longer. CB
9:28 PM: Canadians are unhappy with these Elections Canada reporting restrictions. #tweettheresults is trending number one in Canada, number two internationally. HD
9:27 PM: We already know what the numbers coming out of Atlantic Canada are, incidentally. This is because we have the internet, much like you do. We’re just not saying anything because we don’t have twenty-five thousand dollars to give to Elections Canada’s brilliant “dam the ocean” strategy. CB
9:27 PM: If Harper gets a minority he’ll be the first PM to lead three minority governments in a row. Like kissing your sister repeatedly. PM
9:25 PM: Anecdotally, we’re hearing from polling stations across the city that turnout has been much higher than in recent elections. This is in line with advance polls, which had a 34.5% increase in voter turnout over the 2008 election. HD
9:20 PM: Memories the NDP hope not to revive tonight: Bob Rae and the Ontario NDP government of 1990–1995. PM
9:18 PM: Numbers Liberals hope not to beat tonight in terms of party low points: 40 seats (John Turner in 1984), 26.2% popular vote (Stephane Dion in 2008). JB
9:17 PM: On Global, Dr. Barry Kay is saying Jack Layton is doing what he’s always done but for some reason people like it this time. Doesn’t say why. Global is explaining how things work and showing off their set while they and everyone else count down the time until something happens. PM
9:13 PM: Liberal analyst [on Global] saying they’re “holding up well”. I’m not gonna call her a cheerleader. PM
9:11 PM: Incidentally, did anybody else just not know that Stephane Dion is still an MP? You have to respect him for not throwing the traditional tantrum and quitting politics after he got turfed as party leader. Canada really didn’t give him his due. CB
9:10 PM: In the meantime, CBC Radio’s Chris Hall is telling knock knock jokes about the NDP JB
9:06 PM: In what seems to be the first major oops of the night, for a brief time CBC Newsworld was broadcasting nationally with results and seat projections from the east coast—violating Elections Canada regulations which prohibit the reporting of results in time zones where polls are still open.
9:03 PM: In a couple of hours, Jack Layton will take the podium at NDP celebration headquarters, at the Toronto Convention Centre. The scene there as media set up a few minutes ago… HD

Photo by Dean Bradley/Torontoist.

9:01 PM: On CBC’s live chat, Rex Murphy looks even more bug-eyed than usual. JB
8:56 PM: This is what happens when commenters are waiting for actual news to comment on, folks. HD
8:56 PM: If they do, can I be “The Torontoist“? And will I get a cape? PM
8:55 PM: Patrick, you know if they do, we’ll be “THE Torontoist.” CB
8:55 PM: Coming up next, SunTV explores the social media aspect of the election. Please God let them mention us. PM
8:54 PM: Also, results predictions! I bet I’m closer than anybody else on Torontoist! Tories 139, NDP 91, Liberals 57, Bloc 20, Greens 1. CB
8:53 PM: SunTV—which is streaming online—is so goddamned cheap. Seriously, when they’re not showing pictures of candidates, it looks like QVC, if QVC were really, really cheap and also didn’t sell anything tangible. It’s amazing that they have 4000 viewers: even conservative news-seekers know tacky when they see it. CB
8:52 PM: Welcome to our election night liveblog, Toronto! We’ll be updating with information on local races, reporting on the main Liberal Party celebration at the Sheraton, the main NDP celebration at the convention centre, and try to offer a bit of commentary on what it all means. HD

REPORTING AND COMMENTARY BY: Todd Aagaard (TA), Christopher Bird (CB), Jamie Bradburn (JB), Dean Bradley (DB), Carly Conway (CC), Hamutal Dotan (HD), Christopher Drost (CD), and Patrick Metzger (PM).