#Elxn43 - What happens next

Chris Chapin

There is no question that the 43rd General Election had been too close to call throughout the election, a trend that spilled over to even the early part of election night. Here’s exactly how the election played out.

Early results from Atlantic Canada showed a slight drop for the Liberals in both seats and vote totals. This wasn’t overly surprising though; having swept every seat in 2015, the governing Liberals had just one place to go.  While the Liberals slipped in Atlantic Canada, the Conservatives, NDP and the Greens each made gains in the region.

All eyes quickly shifted to the polls closing in the largest voting block of the country — Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. As polls closed in central and western Canada, it became clear the Liberal government would win the most seats and be able to preside over a minority parliament. The election was ultimately decided by a strong showing by the Liberals in the Golden Horseshoe of Ontario, where they managed to increase their seat total over their previously strong showing in 2015.

While the Conservative Party won the popular vote across the country, including picking up 47 of the 48 seats in Alberta and Saskatchewan where the governing Liberals were shutout, the Liberal support in Ontario was enough to secure the only metric that matters — the most amount of seats.

“It’s clear that the next parliament will be dominated by regional polarization. Whether it’s the Bloc surge coming just short of securing the plurality of seats in Quebec, or the near sweep of the prairies by the Conservatives, national unity has now become the number one political issue for our country,” said Chris Chapin, Principal at Upstream Strategy.

The current minority parliament will likely set off a rocky period within the House of Commons. Between the Bloc and the NDP holding the balance of power in the current minority parliament, it’s clear we will see both regional and partisan jockeying for power over the next 12-18 months. Provincial politicians in Alberta have publicly stated dissatisfaction over the result and raising concerns over the imbalance of electoral divisions between the West and Atlantic Canada.

While it’s clear the Conservatives have no areas of alignment to support the minority Liberal government, both the Bloc and the NDP indicated their intent to explore supporting the governing Liberals. This ensures that while the Liberals have the opportunity to build on their past four years in power, they will have opposition parties that will hold their feet to the fire to ensure they stay true to their electoral promises and adopt policies appealing to the 3rd and 4th parties.

If you’d like to gain further insight to what tonight’s election results mean for you, feel free to reach out to the Upstream team to coordinate a call with our senior team over the next 24 hours.