How do you lose a million votes and still win government? Answer: you’re the Liberal Party of Canada.
In the 2015 election, the Liberals garnered just shy of seven million votes; in 2019, their total fell to 5.9 million. Yet the party still managed to garner 157 seats, holding its own in Atlantic Canada, winning nearly half the seats in Quebec and almost sweeping the riding-rich Greater Toronto Area.
Trudeau’s lustre may have faded, but the Ford factor took its place. Progressive voters united behind the Liberals: the NDP vote collapsed, notably in Ontario, with that party down 600,000 votes nationally from its total in 2015 and its seat count reduced to 24.
Contrast this with the Conservatives, who won over 500,000 more votes in 2019 than in 2015 and scored higher in the popular vote than the Liberals. Yet that only got them 121 seats, 22 more than the previous election.
The Green Party also increased its vote count by more than half a million and eked out one more seat for its efforts, going to three from two. As for the Bloc Québécois, it made similar gains in the popular vote yet ballooned to 32 seats from 11. You’d think this would have been Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet’s night, yet some Bloc-istes looked a bit … disappointed. And there’s good reason for that.