The Liberals have been re-elected but with a minority, while Tories win popular vote but far fewer seats, so below is my take. I will do a summary on each party, each region, and then end with final thoughts.
Liberals: If you want to talk about winning in all the right places, the Liberals pretty much pulled an insider straight thus despite getting only 33% of the popular vote, came within 13 seats of majority. They did this by only slight losses in votes in Ontario and Quebec while their biggest drops were in Atlantic Canada and Prairies. In former they won by 40 points in 2015 so they could drop 20 points and still only lose a handful of seats which is exactly what happened. In Prairies they had few seats to begin with so losing a bunch of votes there brought down vote total not seat total. Still the Liberals should take the rebuke seriously and not act like nothing happened. As I will explain later, they had a good economy and weak opposition so their loss of a majority is not a good result, it shows a lot of dissatisfaction and had Tories had a better leader they might have lost outright. As for how they govern, I hope the party governs on an issue by issue basis. I especially think on the pipeline this is important to push through and get Tory backing as while Alberta and Saskatchewan are never an important part of their winning coalition, anger there is so strong we could have a national unity crisis if they play their cards wrong. Also in Ontario, they did well due to unpopularity of Doug Ford, but if they last 3 to 4 years, Ford will either be gone or have rebounded if he is re-elected so that may not work. After all people seem to have forgotten about Wynne and same could happen once Ford is gone too.
Conservatives: Back in 2016 or 2017 if you told me this was the result, I would have said this was a good one for the Tories, but that was when Trudeau was still fairly popular. But after his major screwups, the fact they couldn’t beat him shows they performed poorly and Scheer needs to take some responsibility. Yes they won the popular vote, but winning massively in Alberta and Saskatchewan while getting fewer votes in two largest provinces won’t cut it. To win, you need support across the country, not piling up margins in your two strongest provinces. The party needs to stop choosing leaders that appeal to their base as their base is not large enough to win and Canada is changing and continuing to pander to base may result in occasional wins when people fatigue of Liberals, but is not a long term strategy to success. Liberals have moved far enough left that there is a strong opening slightly right of centre and that is where the party needs to move. As such I am calling on Scheer to resign and do plan on rejoining the party to boot him out as leader. He might win a plurality, but I don’t see a path to a majority with Scheer. Canadians saw him and said thanks but no thanks. Also Doug Ford needs to change direction and I cannot help but think if we had Michael Chong or Rona Ambrose as federal leader and Christine Elliott as premier of Ontario, results would have been much different. Base needs to get it through their thick skulls, Canada is not a right wing country and continuously pushing candidates further right than most are comfortable with won’t work. That doesn’t mean abandoning all conservative ideas, it simply means having a strong coherent story of why we need to do things differently and it means having someone more experienced and competent. Scheer comes across as weak just as Ford comes across as a buffoon. If you are going to make big changes, people want someone who they think knows what they are doing, not someone who seems weak.
NDP: Despite all the talk of Singh momentum, it ended up coming up short. They lost a lot of seats in Quebec as expected, but even outside of Quebec, won fewer than in 2015. I think big problem for NDP is a lot liked their ideas in theory, but seemed too pie in the sky as well as party leaned too heavily on millennials. I think polls were right, but NDP underperformed and Tories over (at least in popular vote that is) due to demographics as with few exceptions, millennial turnout is always lower than older voters. I think Singh can stay on, but people in the NDP need to realize while they may get a lot of leverage, Trudeau doesn’t have to give them anything.
Green Party: With only 6%, they clearly underperformed and weren’t even able to beat their best showing in 2008, but this seems common with Green Party. Does well in polls but fails at ballot box. My guess is also too heavily skewed towards younger voters, but probably many strategically vote too. Nonetheless while a disappointment in seats, they did pick up one in Fredericton and Green gains recently in Europe and provincially show party under right conditions can do well, but support is very soft. With Elizabeth May being 65, probably best to chose a new leader, but alright if she stays on, but next election should be her last.
Bloc Quebecois: If there was one party who should be happy about last night, it is the BQ. Coming back from dead and gaining a lot in Quebec is definitely a good showing although I think many are misreading this. Most BQ voters are CAQ provincially, not PQ so this is not a resurrection in Quebec separatism, rather many Quebecers like Canadians elsewhere thought the choices were awful and so parked their vote with BQ never mind with Francois Legault being very popular in Quebec, many wanted to vote for a party that would work to push the same agenda federally and stop any federal party from undermining it.
People’s Party: At 1.6%, zero seats and only in Bernier’s riding getting their deposit back, I think party showed what a joke it was. Far right may be loud and noisy on twitter but they are small in numbers. Their maybe a place to gain in other countries but not here. Anyways the thumping of his party is good news for Canada and despite his claims, the party is more or less dead.
Atlantic Canada: After the Liberal sweep in 2015, I think pretty much everyone including every Liberal I talked to expected the party to lose some seats and that indeed happened. Liberals saw a big drop in vote, but managed to win almost all the close races so 26 seats was a good showing, but with the close races breaking for them, it wouldn’t take that big a shift to lose another 10 seats. Tories gained, but at 29%, while a lot better than 2015, still a poor showing. Interestingly enough they did surprisingly well in Rural Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island so I wonder if traditional Liberal areas with high unemployment are areas they have potential as people in those areas most likely to be frustrated at government. Also despite only winning 4 seats, they were leading in 9 at one point so a small gain in popular vote could flip a whole whack of seats. Biggest surprise was the Tories won West Nova as I figured if they gained anything in Nova Scotia, it would be Cumberland-Colchester and Central Nova, not West Nova. But they had a popular former MLA so shows how much of a difference candidate can make. NDP made some gains but still pretty weak while Greens did quite well in votes and even won a seat. I think though Green gains were less an endorsement of Greens and more many in Atlantic Canada tired of two main parties.
Quebec: BQ wave was real, but Liberals still narrowly won popular vote and seats but certainly their strategy of gaining in Quebec to offset losses elsewhere failed and in fact had BQ not surged, we would likely be talking about a Liberal majority. Tories missed an opportunity to gain here, but despite Scheer’s poor performance in French, he still managed to win 10 seats and the Quebec City region where Harper built up support stuck with the Tories suggesting they have a solid base there, but need to find a way to expand beyond that which they have yet to do. NDP dropped to only 1 seat which was no surprise. Interestingly enough, East end of Montreal went mostly Liberal so this suggests to me BQ support is different than in 90s as it looks like they picking up CAQ voters, but Quebec Solidaire supporters going NDP or Liberal.
Ontario: By and large a repeat of 2015 with a few minor changes. Biggest news was Lisa Raitt going down in defeat and in fact the two ridings the Tories lost (Milton and Kitchener-Conestoga and almost lost Flamborough-Glanbrook) are all ridings that were fairly rural a decade ago, but becoming more suburban as new subdivisions are being built. The few pick ups the Tories had were almost all rural ridings, so rural Ontario is solidly Tory, but the suburbs which they needed to win went solidly Liberal, even by bigger margins than in 2015. This shows the Tory strategy is failing since if you cannot compete in 905 belt, cannot form government. Also Ford is very unpopular and his government should take this as a warning that if they don’t change course, same thing will happen to them in 2022. Tories still can win Ontario and this was not an endorsement of Trudeau, but in many ways for a lot of Ontario voters it was who do you hate more: Justin Trudeau or Doug Ford. And in the urban and suburban areas, the answer was clearly Doug Ford. Ontario is by and large a centrist province and if Tories move back to the centre they have a bright future here, but continue to pander to base and will continue to remain a rural rump. Right wing politicians like Mike Harris in 1995 and 1999, Harper in 2011, and Ford in 2018 occasionally win, but only when people are so fed up with Liberals they will vote Tory no matter what, but it is not a long term strategy to success here.
Saskatchewan/Manitoba: Both provinces swung heavily towards Tories particularly Saskatchewan where Tories had clean sweep and even knocked off Ralph Goodale. No doubt anger is strong here, especially in Saskatchewan and while this may be becoming a Tory stronghold, Trudeau would be wise to not dismiss public anger here. Likewise Tories doing well here is not proof Scheer resonating, people were just so angry at Liberals that no matter who was Tory leader, they would win big here. Outside Prairies anger at Liberals existed, but not at breaking point thus why many were still willing to hold their nose and vote for them if they disliked Scheer whereas here people were pretty much willing to vote Tory no matter what.
Alberta: With the exception of Edmonton-Strathcona, it was a near sweep and all Liberals lost. Also the blowouts were massive and this is exactly why Tories won popular vote but not most seats. Obviously Trudeau needs to take the anger here seriously, but likewise Tories need to find a way to stay strong here, but appeal elsewhere. If Liberal vote was very efficient, Tory vote was very inefficient and this is why.
British Columbia: It was a mixed bag for parties here. Tories gained votes and seats, but at only 34%, that may be better than in 2015, but still a rather poor showing for BC. Interior swung heavily behind them, but gains in Lower Mainland unlike 905 belt only happened due to stronger splits on left. Indeed, Tories only got 0.9% more in BC than Ontario, but big difference was better vote splits. I think in the coastal areas where most live, big problem was weak plan on the environment. As I’ve explained elsewhere, supporting a revenue neutral carbon tax is a conservative idea and I think the result here should be a warning sign to start taking the environment more seriously. Liberals lost a lot of votes in BC, but like nationally in all the right places. Biggest declines came outside of the Lower Mainland where they only held two seats to begin with while drop in Lower Mainland much smaller thus why they still did okay in seats. NDP also lost ground here despite all the talk of Singh surge and probably due to weaker turnout amongst millennials. Likewise Greens also failed to make headway. Probably the best news out of BC, was Jody Wilson-Reyboud winning her seat. Had I lived in her riding, she would have got my vote (I live in Vancouver Centre).
Territories: With so little attention focused on them, had no idea what would happen. Liberals easily held Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory they barely held with Tories almost winning there, while Nunavut went NDP. With almost no news on north, no idea the reasons, but if anybody knows I would love to hear.
Final Thoughts: With Trudeau being wounded but still a solid minority, I really hope he governs on an issue by issue basis. Also with Tories gaining but NDP losing, I don’t believe moving further to the left is the right idea, but probably will happen although not as bad as it would have been had Tories won a plurality and they needed NDP to stay on top. Government should last at least 2 years and maybe even 3 years. I think the anger in Alberta and Saskatchewan is real and could metastasize into a separatist movement so its important Trudeau put national interest ahead of party and even if he cannot win many seats here and he takes note of the anger. Likewise BQ gain should also be a warning to stay out of areas in provincial jurisdiction which Liberals have a tendency to do all too often. For Tories, Scheer needs to go. Party got rejected in 2015 and still thinks Harper approach will work forgetting times are changing. Concerns about a rapidly changing economy and climate change are ones that could have been ignored a decade ago but not anymore. Likewise millennials are largest demographic so with every generation party must adjust. I still believe party should favour lower taxes and a balanced budget, but they need a more competent leader and also on tax cuts, I would favour balance the budget first, then cut taxes and call a full tax review and work from there instead of just promising more Harper era tax credits. On climate change, the era of dodging is over. A revenue neutral carbon tax may anger the base, but it is a conservative idea to deal with climate change. Also in BC, Gordon Campbell did this and it didn’t blow apart the BC Liberal coalition so while base may not like it, they will vote for them anyways and it is swing voters they need. Also next leader must be pro-choice and march in Gay pride parades. Promising to not legislate on abortion and gay marriage not good enough; social conservatism is dead and its time it gets buried in its well deserved grave. People want a party looking to the future not past. In terms of next leader, I would say Rona Ambrose, Peter MacKay, John Baird, James Moore, Michael Chong, and Erin O’Toole are ones we should look towards. Also perhaps maybe some of the Quebec MPs could do well in Quebec. Liberals have moved enough to the left so lots of space to move closer to the centre to appeal to Red Tories and Blue Liberals. The base is loud, but is a declining demographic and the future for the party will be winning over Red Tories and Blue Liberals not their base. Winning the popular vote is not good enough for Scheer as that only happened due to massive margins in Alberta and Saskatchewan, not large national support. Excluding Prairies and Quebec, Tories got between 26-34% in all other provinces showing they have a strong base, but aren’t outside Prairies winning over swing voters and in Prairies the votes they gained are more anti-Liberal than pro-Conservative.