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Weston re-elected in Conservative Sweep

Harper wins majority government; NDP rises, Liberals sink and Bloc destroyed

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The preliminary results give the Conservative Party 167 seats out of 308 in the house, 13 more than they needed for a majority. They also earned 39.2 per cent of the popular vote.

The NDP placed second for the first time with 30.6 per cent of the vote, polling especially strong in Quebec where the separatist Bloc Quebecois saw their share of seats in the House of Commons drop from 49 to four. The NDP will form the official opposition with 102 seats, up from 37 after the 2008 election.

The Liberal Party also dropped from 77 seats to just 34.

The Green Party has at last achieved official party status after leader Elizabeth May was elected in the Saanich-Gulf Islands Riding - unseating former Olympic minister Gary Lunn.

Nationally, voter turnout was up over the previous election in 2008 with 61.4 per cent of eligible voters casting ballots. That's over two per cent higher than the 59.1 per cent reported in 2008, which was the lowest in Canadian history. Since confederation in 1867 the average has been over 70 per cent.

There is evidence that the rise of the NDP under leader Jack Layton may have played a role in the Conservatives winning a majority. One analysis in the Ottawa Citizen suggested that vote splitting was responsible for the loss of 13 Liberal seats to the Conservative Party and one Bloc Quebecois seat. As well, the Green Party also played spoiler despite seeing their share of the popular vote drop by almost 50 per cent. In 14 ridings, votes for the Green Party may have made the difference for either the Liberal or NDP candidate.

Several websites, like the ProjectDemocracy.ca and Catch22Campaign.ca tried to circumvent the possibility of vote splitting by telling people who to vote for strategically in their riding to prevent the Conservative Candidate from winning. As well, there was a massive effort on Facebook and Twitter to mobilize voters to vote the Conservative Party out of power.

But while vote splitting helped the Conservative Party win a majority, the party actually saw its share of the popular vote increase 1.6 per cent from 37.6 per cent in 2008.

The Conservative Party campaigned based on its handling of the economy and Canada's strong financial standing in the global recession, as well as their belief that this was an unnecessary and costly election ($300 million price tag) at the wrong time.

Locally, John Weston campaigned on the Conservative Party record nationally, as well as his own contributions to the riding - including changes to the worker visa program, federal investment in infrastructure and his role in establishing a task force to determine the cause for declines in salmon runs.