Watching the Liberals lose
Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer
RCMP survey the room where Liberal Leader Michael Iggnatief will speak later at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto following the election results. The room was not open to the public until 9:30 pm.
The room which was reserved for election night results for Michael Ignatieff, was, by far, the quietest night of election return coverage I’ve ever witnessed.
The doors to the actual room remained closed until 9:30 pm, but once open, there was a trickle of people who entered. The quiet, and the mood, of the room, definitely foreshadowed what was about to befall the big Red Machine.
As the numbers rolled in, a small crowd began to gather. As folks stood about and witnessed the returns, their faces told the story. Everywhere we (the media) looked people seem transfixed - their expressions glum.
When Ignatieff did enter the room, he came to the stage with a mighty smile, but the smile seemed a bit forced and his body language told a different story. When he chose to speak was also a bit unusual. No one had yet been declared winner in the riding, but Ignatieff took to the stage to profess his wish to stay on. For those of us who have watched politics for a while, it was a bold statement. Surely, the Party would not be happy with the results of the campaign. Some would call immediately for his resignation.
When it was revealed later Ignatieff lost his seat, the writing was on the wall. The following morning, Ignatieff resigned as Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
With a new majority government for Stephen Harper, as well as losing Official Opposition status for his own party, AND having lost his own bit for reelection, Ignatieff's experiment in federal politics came to a quick, and swift, end.
Liberal Party staffer John Moser stands by signage of leader Michael Ignatieff as staff prepare for the speech later in the evening.
Three people watch TV in the room at the Sheraton where Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff would later deliver his concession speech.
Liberal supporter Robb Collis watches results at Sheraton Centre where Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's campaign came to an end.
Buttons sit upon tables unused as a small crowd gathers at the Sheraton where Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff would soon appear.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff arrives in the room at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto after election results.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff speaks at the Sheraton Centre.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff leaves the Sheraton Centre in Toronto accompanied by wife Zsuzsanna Zsohar.