Ignatieff joins Toronto Liberals in defeat

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff lost his own west-Toronto seat on Monday, capping off a night of historic Liberal election losses in what was once one of his party's key bases of support.

Liberal leader loses along with Dryden, Volpe, Kennedy

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff pauses as he addresses supporters on Monday in Toronto. ((Frank Gunn/Canadian Press))

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff lost his own west-Toronto seat on Monday, capping off a night of historic Liberal election losses in what was once one of his party's key bases of support.

Ignatieff fell to Conservative Bernard Trottier in the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore as other top Toronto-area Liberal incumbents, including Ken Dryden, Joe Volpe and Gerard Kennedy, went down in defeat.

Entering Monday's election, the Liberals held 20 of the 22 ridings in Toronto. After last night's results, the Liberals now hold only seven seats with an eighth riding (Etobicoke Centre) still being counted as of 1:14 a.m.

The Liberal losses came as the Conservatives surged to a majority government and the NDP surpassed the 100-seat mark to replace the Liberals as the official opposition.

Saying the Canadian people had taught his party a lesson, Ignatieff accepted the defeat and thanked those who had fought with him.

"Leaders have to be big enough to accept their historic responsibility for a historic defeat, and I do so," Ignatieff said. "That's what leaders are there for. I accept my responsibility for what's occurred, and I want to thank all those who stood with me."

Dryden, the former NHL player who had held his York Centre seat since 2004, fell to Conservative Mark Adler. In Parkdale-High Park, Kennedy lost to the NDP's Peggy Nash, who held the seat from 2006 to 2008, when she lost to Kennedy.

Liberal Joe Volpe also lost his seat, one he'd held since 1988, losing in Eglinton-Lawrence to Joe Oliver of the Conservatives. Martha Hall Findlay was another Liberal incumbent to be unseated on Monday, falling to Conservative Chungsen Leung in Willowdale.

NDP Leader Jack Layton was re-elected in Toronto-Danforth, defeating Liberal Andrew Lang. His wife, Olivia Chow, also retained her seat, winning Trinity-Spadina over Liberal challenger Christine Innes.

Andrew Cash registered a big win for the NDP, defeating three-term incumbent Mario Silva in the downtown riding of Davenport.

A handful of Toronto-area Liberals managed to retain their seats, with former Ontario premier Bob Rae fighting off a challenge from Susan Wallace of the NDP in Toronto Centre. Liberal Judy Sgro was re-elected in York West, defeating the NDP's Giulio Manfrini.

Olivia Chow celebrates her re-election in the downtown Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Liberal Carolyn Bennett held her seat in St. Paul's, defeating Conservative Maureen Harquail. Another Liberal winner, incumbent Jim Karygiannis, beat Conservative Harry Tsai in Scarborough-Agincourt.

Outside of the city core, Liberal Ruby Dhalla lost her seat in Brampton-Springdale to Conservative Parm Gill while Conservative Julian Fantio was re-elected in Vaughan, defeating Liberal Mario Ferri.

The Liberals also lost in Ajax-Pickering, where Conservative Chris Alexander unseated incumbent Mark Holland.

In explaining the Liberal losses, Jason Kenney, the Conservatives' point-man in wooing ethnic voters in Toronto, said the Liberals took for granted the votes of new Canadians.

"It's stunning," said Kenney, who won his riding in Calgary Southeast.  "The huge breakthrough in the GTA represents a realignment of the support of new Canadians. Our appeal has been to vote your values and new Canadians increasingly realize that their values are Conservative values."

Other Toronto-area results:

  • Mathew Kellway of the NDP beat Liberal incumbent Maria Minna in Beaches-East York.
  • In Etobicoke North, Liberal Kirsty Duncan defeated Conservative Priti Lamba.
  • The NDP's Rathika Sitsabaiesan won in Scarborough-Rouge River.

  • In Don Valley East, Conservative Joe Daniel defeated Liberal incumbent Yasmin Ratansi.

  • Liberal Alan Tonks fell in York South-Weston, losing his seat to Mike Sullivan of the NDP.

  • In Don Valley West, Liberal incumbent Rob Oliphant lost his seat to Conservative John Carmichael.
  • In Etobicoke Centre, Conservative Ted Opitz defeated Liberal incumbent Borys Wrzesnewskyj by a mere 26 votes.