First it seemed boring. Canada was sleepwalking to yet another Conservative minority, with hardly any change in the four represented parties’ seat totals. Then it got exciting. The NDP was surging, and there was talk of Prime Minister Layton, winning a majority with the backing the remnant of the Liberals, joining to defeat outgoing PM Harper’s Throne Speech.
Then they had the election. Boring. Just another two-and-a-half (or should that be two-and-a-third?) party system under FPTP. Positively British, or at least the way Britain used to be. Two big parties, one of the left, the other of the right, one of which has a comfortable majority. Plus a small third liberal party squeezed between the big two. A few scattered “others.”
The pollsters and prognosticators generally got the NDP right: around 30% of the votes and 100 seats seemed to be the consensus. However, they missed the extent of the Liberal-Conservative swing. The Tories won almost 40% of the vote, when more like 35% was expected. The Liberals failed to make it to 20%. More importantly, the Conservatives will have 167 seats, when most projections had them in the 145-150 range (where 155 is a majority). The Liberals are reduced to just 34 seats, the Bloc Quebecois to 4 (yes, four). The Greens picked up their first seat. (See overall results at CBC.)