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Final update: My analysis of wtf happened is here - “You have to outrun the bear” and other iron laws of politics"

 UPDATE 1:00 AM:
I think this will be my last update for the evening. Check back for my post-mortem in the morning.
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 162             4                 39.58
NDP             98              5                  30.71
Liberal          31              3                 18.85
Bloc              3              1                   6.14
Green            1               0                  3.84
Thank you all for helping me make it through a difficult and disappointing evening.

UPDATE 12:45 PM:
The Tories took 2 seats from  the NDP, while losing 6 back
They lost 1 seat to Elizabeth May and the Green party.
They took a single seat from the Bloc (while the NDP nabbed 46!)
How did the Tories win?
By taking TWENTY SIX seats from the hapless Liberals.
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 159             7                 39.68
NDP             98              6                  30.81
Liberal          30              4                 18.73
Bloc              3               0                   6.12
Green            1               0                  3.79
Gilles Duceppe has resigned as leader of the Bloc Québécois, what else could he do?
Ignatieff says he will not resign. My guess: If he won't jump, the pushing will start tomorrow morning.

UPDATE 12:20 PM:
The fat lady is in the wings, warming up.
I totally blame Ignatieff.
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 154           13                39.79
NDP             98              5                30.83
Liberal          29              5                 18.71
Bloc              2               1                   6.12
Green            0               1                  3.76

UPDATE 12:00 PM:
Dare we hope? One of those ridings I talked about 15 minutes ago - Etobicoke Centre - swings back from Tory blue to Liberal Red. Scarborough-Gildwood, too. And in the vast Nipising-Timiskaming riding, Tory Jay Aspin leads Lib Anthony Rota by a grand total of THREE votes!
It's gonna be a squeaker
.... and while I watch those seats, the Tories ratchet up three more elsewhere. Damn.
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 149           17                39.79
NDP             94              9                30.83
Liberal          28              6                 18.92
Bloc              1               2                   5.98
Green            0               1                  3.65

UPDATE 11:50 PM:
I've got 2 seats in BC, 2 in Manitoba and a half dozen in Ontario where the Tories are leading, but only by a fistful of votes.
They need ten more for a majority... it could still be tight.
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 148            16                39.79
NDP             93              13                30.83
Liberal          27              8                  18.92
Bloc              1               1                   5.98
Green            0               1                  3.65
It really did all came down to Ontario. Prior to tonight, the Liberals had 31 seats in the greater Toronto region. There are now 6 left - Bob Rae holds out in Toronto Centre, but no Iggy.
The Libs will be lucky to hang on to 31 for the whole country. Looks like they're down to 2 in BC.

UPDATE 11:15 PM:
What happened? It looks pretty simple.
Voters abandon the trailing party and vote for one of the two parties that can form a government. The Liberals forgot that this time around, THEY are the trailing party.
By spending the last week whipping up the big Red Scare against Jack Layton and the NDP, all Ignatieff did was convince a lot of the Liberal voters who might have jumped ship to the NDP to go to the Tories instead. Well played, Iggy!
Instead of saying "The real danger is the Conservatives, vote for whichever left party will block them, and we promise to work together for a better Canada," Ignatieff played the fear card. And now it looks like he'll lose his own seat, to boot.
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 144            22                39.96
NDP             83              22                30.86
Liberal          24              9                  19.38
Bloc              0               3                   5.54
Green            0               1                  3.51
Duceppe is losing his seat as well. Meanwhile, Elizabeth May is still on track to gain her seat for the Green Party.

UPDATE 11:00 PM:
Before you despair... I'm counting 8 seats just in Metro Toronto where the Tories are "leading", but only by a handful. That could make the difference, plus Vancouver.
The bad news: The Liberals have well and truly collapsed. They're pulling in a pathetic 23 percent IN ONTARIO, a distant third place.
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 130            37                40.04
NDP             78              28                30.94
Liberal          19             10                19.77
Bloc              0               3                   5.15
Green            0               1                  3.43
The main scene of the Liberal bloodbath is the Toronto and Vancouver ridings, which remain close... still could be a long night.

UPDATE 10:35 PM:
The rural ridings have fallen about the way they were expected, although NDP is taking more in Northern Ontario than we might have expected. As for the Liberal bastion of Toronto - it's looking bad for them at the moment, but it could be a very long night.
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 102            52                39.9
NDP             37              69                30.87  
Liberal          15             16                21.04
Bloc              0               3                   4.2
Green            0               0                  3.35
In Atlantic Canada, it looks to have firmed up at
The Conservatives are polling higher than expected everywhere, as is the NDP. Looks like it's mostly at the expense of the Liberals. And the Bloc is GONE.

UPDATE 10:20 PM:
Things firming up with lots of Tory votes coming in from the West
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 74             68                40.06
NDP             21             78                30.48  
Liberal          12             19                22.46
Bloc              0               4                   3.2
Green            0               0                  3.28
Based on these numbers, the CBC is calling it for the Tories... as a minority government.
But we're still too close to see how this will shake out.  Lots of ridings in Ontario are very close... we'll get some reports on that as soon as we can.
The big news is the complete collapse of the Bloc - they're polling less than the Greens!

First results from Atlantic Canada and rural Ontario:
                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:
Conservative 29            105                38.89
NDP              8              68                30.02  
Liberal          11             17                25.78
Bloc              0               7                   1.6
Green            0               0                  3.13
This includes an NDP near sweep in Quebec, including wipeouts of most Libs and Tories in Montreal and Quebec City

This will be tricky... there's a law on the books the prevents the dissemination of election results before all the polls are closed, and Canada is a biiig country.

Polls have closed Eastern Canada, but they won't close in BC until 10 pm Eastern time. So we'll report what we can as things trickle in.

In the meantime, check out our backgrounders here:

And these diaries:
Updated by jeremybloom at Mon May 02, 2011 at 07:24 PM PDT

UPDATE 10:20 PM:

Things firming up with lots of Tory votes coming in from the West

                  Taken:   Leading in:    Percent:

Conservative 74             68                40.06

NDP             21             78                30.48  

Liberal          12             19                22.46

Bloc              0               4                   3.2

Green            0               0                  3.28

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