The Senate voted to pass the omnibus budget implementation bill late Monday, avoiding an election showdown over the issue.

Senators voted 48-44 against the changes made by opposition members of its finance committee to Bill C-9 and passed the legislation without amendments. Seven Liberal senators failed to show up for the vote.

Last week, the Conservatives threatened a fall election after opposition senators stripped four provisions.

At the time, Senator Doug Finley, the Tory campaign director, said a fall election was a distinct possibility if senators refused to pass the bill as is.

During clause-by-clause examination of the 900-plus-page budget bill, five Liberal senators were joined by Conservative Senator Lowell Murray on the Senate finance committee to pull four measures.

They involved provisions to allow for the potential privatization of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) and to end Canada Post's monopoly on international mail.

Opposition senators also rejected measures that would diminish the scope of federal environmental assessments and would allow retroactive changes to some excise taxes.

All four measures were defeated on tie votes of 6-6.