Harper and Tories headed for a
[PoliticsWatch Updated 11:00 p.m. January 23, 2006]
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has been declared the winner by
all three English-language networks in Monday night's federal
Harper and the Conservatives are leading or picking up seats in
Quebec and key Ontario battlegrounds.
Harper's win will end 12 years of Liberal party domination of the
House of Commons.
While Harper has a minority, he appears to have a smaller minority
than Paul Martin won in the 2004 election campaign.
However, the Liberals and the NDP do not have enough seats to
control the balance of power.
Harper's allies were confident that they will have a mandate and can
govern even though they may be 30 seats short of the 155 needed to
control the House of Commons.
"I don't think anybody is the mood for a quick election," said Conservative campaign chair John
Reynolds when asked about how long a Harper government can survive.
The Tories were powered by a strong showing in Quebec, where they
are currently leading or winning in 10 seats.
Conservative candidates Lawrence Cannon, Josee Verner and Maxime
Bernier are among the winners. All have been touted as shoo-ins for
a Harper cabinet.
Jean-Pierre Blackburn, a former Mulroney cabinet minister, was a
surprise winner in Quebec on Monday night.
The question remains now, what will become of Liberal Leader Paul
"He's going to have to reflect carefully on the results,"
former Liberal cabinet minister John Manley told CBC News.
"Perhaps he'll want to talk to his caucus and some of the candidates that were defeated and decide whether he wants to continue another day. With a minority government, we don't know when we might face another trip to the polls."
"Mr. Martin is going to have to consider all of his possibilities."
Martin loyalists are also in trouble.
CTV News is reporting that Government House Leader Tony Valeri has
lost to the NDP in his Hamilton Stoney Creek riding. And Deputy
Prime Minister Anne McLellan has lost in Edmonton. And Treasury
Board President Reg Alcock is trailing in Winnipeg South.
Liberal cabinet minister Carolyn Bennett appears to have won in a
tough race against Tory star candidate Peter Kent and NDP star
candidate Paul Summerville in the bellwether riding of St.
Toronto will remain largely Liberal, with the Grits winning or
leading in 20 of 23 ridings. Ken Dryden and Bill Graham are among
the Liberal ministers to hang on to their seats. And Liberal
candidate Michael Ignatieff won in the bellwether riding of
Etobicoke -- Lakeshore.
The Liberals also lost seats in Quebec, including Liberal MP
Francois Boivin in the Liberal stronghold of Gatineau, who lost to
Richard Nadeau of the Bloc.
In Montreal, Liberal cabinet ministers Liza Frulla and Pierre
Pettigrew are trailing.
In Ottawa, John Baird, a former cabinet
minister in the provincial Harris government, was victorious for the
Tories in Ottawa West -- Nepean. But star candidate Allan Cutler has
been defeated by Liberal David McGuinty in Ottawa South. And NDP
candidate Paul Dewar is leading Martin loyalist Richard Mahoney in
Independent Quebec candidate Andre Arthur has been declared the
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