CANADA: While the same party is still in power nationally, Monday was a day of great change for the country politically.
The Conservatives captured a majority of seats, going above the 155 needed, and finishing with 167 out of 308.
Another major shift saw the New Democrats become the official opposition in the House of Commons for the first time in history with 102 seats.
Their gain meant very bad news for the Liberals who plunged in the polls to become third. Adding insult to injury, was the fact that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff lost his riding to Conservative candidate Bernard Trottier. The Liberals finished with just under 19-per cent.
The Liberals weren't alone in that respect. Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe was defeated in his riding by NDP candidate Helene Laverdiere, prompting him to step down as party leader. The party also took a beating, finishing with only 6-per cent support. The Bloc's big losses were also at the hands of the NDP, who took over a large chunk of the votes in Quebec.
The news was a little better for the Green Party and leader Elizabeth May. She managed to grab the first and only seat for the party.
Locally Conservative candidate Jim Hillyer took 56-per cent of the votes in the Lethbridge riding. NDP candidate Mark Sandilands came in second at 27-per cent. They were followed by Michael Cormican of the Liberals at 8-per cent, Cailin Bartlett of the Greens at 5-per cent, and Geoffrey Capp of the Christian Heritage Party came in at 4-per cent.
In the Macleod riding it was Ted Menzies of the Conservatives winning with 77-per cent of the votes. A distant second was Janine Giles of the NDP at 10-per cent.
The Medicine Hat riding made it three for three, with LaVar Payne of the Conservatives capturing 71-per cent support. Second place there was Dennis Perrier of the NDP at 13-per cent.
One of the most impressive and perhaps even suprising facts to appear on election day was voter turnout. Despite the fact that few Canadians seemed to want an election, locally people came out in huge numbers. In the Lethbridge riding 53-per cent of registered voters came out, in Medicine Hat 52-per cent cast their vote, and in the Macleod riding an incredible 61-per cent of voters came forward to help decide the direction of Canada.