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"Orange Crush" helps NDP become Opposition in 2011 election

Serious, captivating and at times downright nasty, the political roadshow known as the federal elections never fails to entertain. Politicians crisscross the country making impassioned speeches and grand promises in an attempt to woo voters. From Mackenzie King to Stephen Harper, CBC Archives examines the turning points, missteps and victories in Canada's federal elections.

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After winning back-to-back minorities in 2006 and 2008, Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada finally capture enough seats in 2011 to form a majority government. More remarkably, the NDP has swept to Opposition status, winning 102 seats to the beleaguered Liberals' 34. In this day-after report from CBC-TV's Adrienne Arsenault, NDP Leader Jack Layton savours his victory while observers say he's got a lot of hard work ahead of him.
• The federal election of 2011 was forced by the three opposition parties in the House of Commons on Mar. 25, 2011. Members of the Liberals, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP united to vote in favour of a motion saying they lacked confidence in the government, which the House had ruled was in contempt of Parliament several days earlier.
  • The Bloc Québécois, a force on the federal scene since 1993, was decimated in the subsequent election, dropping from 47 seats to four. Leader Gilles Duceppe was defeated, and he announced his resignation soon after.

• With only 34 seats, the Liberals dropped to third-party status for the first time in their history. Leader Michael Ignatieff stepped down the following day.

• Many of the NDP's newly elected Quebec MPs were under scrutiny in the days following the election. At least five were students still in university - including a 19-year-old who was the youngest MP ever elected - and one was an Ottawa bar manager who had spent part of the campaign in Las Vegas and never visited the riding in which she was elected. 

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: May 3, 2011
Guest(s): Charmaine Borg, Liza Frulla, Marie Grégoire, Jack Layton
Host: Wendy Mesley
Reporter: Adrienne Arsenault
Duration: 3:41

Last updated: February 17, 2012

Page consulted on November 27, 2014

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