The Liberals suffered a stunning collapse in the area around the City of Toronto in Monday night's federal election, losing all but one of their seats in the 905 region to the Conservatives.
Only John McCallum, the Liberal incumbent in Markham-Unionville, was re-elected.
The Tories took all the other ridings in York Region, along with a complete sweep of Durham and Peel ridings. That included a handful of hotly contested races in Brampton and Mississauga, areas with high concentrations of voters of south- and east-Asian origin.
'New Canadians increasingly realize that their values are Conservative values.'— Jason Kenney, Calgary Southeast MP
No 905-area riding was under the spotlight during the campaign more than Brampton-Springdale, where pollsters had predicted a close battle between Liberal incumbent Ruby Dhalla and Conservative candidate Parm Gill.
But Gill had a big win on election night, taking 48.3 per cent of the vote compared to Dhalla's 27.9 per cent.
"Overall I feel that — and so does the rest of the new Canadians and the immigrant community — Liberals took them for granted for far too long," Gill said. "They were making promises, never actually really [did] anything for the ethnic communities."
Jason Kenney, who as Conservative immigration minister, spent recent years relentlessly touring the vote-rich, immigrant-dominated areas around Toronto, called the 905 wins "stunning."
"The huge breakthrough in the GTA represents a realignment of the support of new Canadians," he said. "Our appeal to them has been honest. It's has been to vote your values. And new Canadians increasingly realize that their values are Conservative values."
'Reflect on what's gone wrong'
Dhalla said the momentum was not in her party's favour on Monday night.
"We need to ensure that we reflect on what's gone wrong and we need to talk about rebuilding and renewing and reaching out to new Canadians and connecting," she said.
In the Ajax Pickering riding at the other end of the GTA, high-profile Liberal incumbent Mark Holland was defeated by Conservative newcomer Chris Alexander.
Alexander said the Conservatives won because they had a strong economic platform.
"That anxiety about the recession is still there, the recovery is still fragile, and people are worried about their jobs. People are worried about making ends meet," he said.
Holland said being a Liberal MP for seven years was something most people only dream of.
"I'm just so proud of the people that are around me, I'm so proud of the effort everybody made, and really grateful for the opportunity I was given," he said.
The Conservatives took 29 of the 44 seats in the Greater Toronto Area, with the NDP taking eight seats, all in Toronto. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff lost his Toronto seat, and his party held on to only seven GTA seats, six of them in the City of Toronto.
Countrywide, the Liberals won 34 seats and lost their official opposition status, the party's worst defeat since Confederation.