Most polls now closed as Canada votes in stages
Last Updated: Monday, January 23, 2006 | 9:55 PM ET
Federal election voting continues only in British Columbia and the Yukon.
Results cannot be posted on websites until 10 p.m. ET, after the last ballot is cast, according to federal law.
Meanwhile, the easternmost polls closed at 8:30 p.m. Newfoundland time (7 p.m. ET). Polls closed half an hour later in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, most of Labrador and Îlles de la Madeleine.
NDP Leader Jack Layton and NDP candidate Olivia Chow vote in Toronto, Monday.
In the vast middle of the country – from the Gaspé to the Rockies and north to Nunavut and the Northwest Territories – the closing time was 9:30 p.m. ET.
When Parliament dissolved in late November after 12 years of successive Liberal rule, Paul Martin's Liberals held 133 seats, the Conservatives had 98, the Bloc Quebecois held 53 and the NDP was at 18.
Sometime shortly after 10 p.m., Canadians across the country will see each party's new standing and will usher in a new leader.
The only reported election glitch on Monday occurred in Eastern Canada. At a polling station in New Glasgow, N.S., a man took off with a ballot box.
Just after noon, the man ran into a polling station in the town's stadium and tried to grab two boxes. An election official snatched one, but the man made it out with the other one under his arm.
"The suspect actually went to the parking area, placed the box down on the ground and actually used his own personal vehicle [and] drove over the Elections Canada box," said Const. Ken MacDonald of New Glasgow police.
The man sped away. However, officers picked him a little while later.
Although the box was flattened, no ballots were destroyed. Scrutineers watched as the deputy returning officer transferred all of the ballots into a new box.
Earlier on Monday, Martin voted in Montreal, looking tense as he arrived at a polling station in his Lasalle-Émard riding.
With his wife, Sheila, at his side, Martin said: "I feel great. I feel great."
Polling stations across Canada open for 12 hours, with closing times varying from region to region.
NDP Leader Jack Layton and wife Olivia Chow, also running for the NDP, walked with her mother, Ho Sze Chow, to a Toronto polling station.
Chow is the NDP candidate in the riding where they live.
Asked who he voted for, Layton said: "It's a secret ballot. But I've got a great candidate here."
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper voted weeks ago, casting a ballot at an Elections Canada office during the Christmas break. His riding is in Calgary.
|ELECTION NIGHT LIVE RESULTS|
|Check back Jan. 23 starting at 10 p.m. EST for comprehensive national and riding-by-riding results. Why 10 p.m.?|
Doors opened at polling stations in the eastern time zone at 9:30 a.m. local time. Those in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. opened at 8:30 a.m. local time.
Canadians whose clocks are set to central time must cast their ballots before 8:30 p.m. They opened at 8:30 a.m.
In the mountain time zone, the polls opened at 7:30 a.m. and were to stay open until 7:30 p.m.
And voters on the West Coast in the Pacific time zone started voting at 7 a.m., with polls open until 7 p.m.
- FROM JAN. 18, 2006: Big jump in turnout at advance polls
There are a total of 1,634 candidates in 308 ridings in the country's 39th general election.
They represent 15 political parties, plus Independent candidates.