Early indications show that the Conservatives under Stephen Harper have wonCanada’s general election. A Conservative victory would end twelve years of Liberal rule, but the party would not control a majority of seats in parliament. Support for the Liberals waned latterly due to voter apathy and a kickback scandal which brought down the government of Paul Martin in November.
The election, in which 23 million Canadians have voted, is a re-match of the 2004 neck-and-neck race with the Conservatives, which gave Martin a minority government. Two other parties, the separatist Bloc Quebecois and the New Democrats, appear set to win a large number of seats. Experts believe a minority Conservative government would be likely to last between a year and 18 months.