I find the following graph from the Globe & Mail ("CHANGING SEATS - Ridings gained or lost compared with the 2008 federal election") by far the most interesting of the evening.
At least 4 lessons learned:
1. Conservatives and NDP have shared the spoils of the night according to a neatly demarcated line: Conservatives taking most lost Liberal seats, NDP wiping out the Bloc.
2. This means that disaffected Liberal voters have mostly gone Conservative, with only a minority going to NDP. Ergo, the Liberal Party is - always has been - a right wing party rather than a center or moderately left-leaning one notwithstanding that party's mythology.
3. Simple math reveals then that Canada is clearly a conservative country: over 50% if we conservatively (pardon the punt) allocate half of tonight's remaining Liberal votes to the Conservatives. In this light, "strategic voting" and "Anything but Conservative" reveals itself to be ironic and tragically mistaken.
4. If Liberals have any sense left in them (I am not certain that they actually do) then they will reach those same conclusions and rapidly swing to their right, to save whatever can be from this disaster. NDP should definitely celebrate tonight, because tomorrow they might find that they are rather lonely as a political formation, much more so than the Conservatives.
Activists, take a deep breath. Get over it. Go to sleep early. Prepare yourselves mentally and physically for some ridiculously uneven battles - which will need to be fought nonetheless.
Good news is, tomorrow the picture will be that much easier to read. No more mistaking Red Conservatives for "Liberals".