A judicial recount in a Quebec riding has given the NDP their 59th seat in Quebec, while reducing Conservative party holdings in the province to five.
The recount for the riding of Montmagny-L’Islet-Kamouraska-Riviere-du-Loup, completed Friday, confirmed the New Democratic Party’s Francois Lapointe won by nine votes over incumbent Conservative Bernard Genereux.
The recount, performed by Justice Gilles Blanchet of Quebec Superior Court, gave both men about 36 per cent of the 45,545 valid ballots cast — Lapointe with 17,285 votes to Genereux’s 17,276.
Preliminary results on election night gave Genereux a lead of 110 votes, but a tabulation error erroneously awarded about 100 NDP votes to the Green Party candidate. A retabulation ended with Lapointe leading by five votes (17,278 to 17,273), prompting an automatic recount.
Automatic recounts have also been ordered in the Ontario ridings of Etobicoke Centre, where Conservative Ted Opitz leads Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj by 25 votes, and Nipising-Timiskaming, where Conservative Jay Aspin leads Liberal Anthony Rota by 15 votes.
Elections Canada announced Friday that a recount has also been requested in Winnipeg North, where Liberal Kevin Lamoureux leads New Democrat Rebecca Blaikie by 45 votes.
Everyone who’s ever felt like their vote probably won’t make a difference: the margin here was nine votes. And there are three other ridings with margins under fifty votes. Elections can be incredibly tight, and your vote can actually matter.
Note that even if all the recounts against the Conservatives succeed (which is very unlikely) they’ll still have 164 seats, so it would take nine defections for the Conservatives to lose their majority. This is extremely improbable.
Also, this further reduces the number of Conservative MPs in Quebec to five, which is going to make it tricky to dispatch local (or even native-francophone) faces to dispense cardboard cheques and/or sell the province on the inevitable renegotiation of transfer payments in 2014 or so. Four of the five are really safe, though, so the Conservatives know they’ve pretty much bottomed out in Quebec.