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As it happened: Instant updates on a historic election

Election-night discussion and analysis with The Globe and Mail's team of journalists.

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<iframe src="" scrolling="no" height="650px" width="460px" frameBorder ="0" allowTransparency="true" ><a href="" >The Globe and Mail's election night liveblog</a></iframe>

Frequently Asked Questions

Are we getting a sense of the turnout? (Question from reader DaveLee)

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Reporter Jill Mahoney in Toronto: Hi Dave. Other than anecdotal stories of turnout at individual polling stations, we don't have any sense of how many people are voting. We'll have a rough vote count at the end of tonight, shortly after 10 p.m. ET.

Reporter Daniel Leblanc in Quebec: Not sure about turnout, but what is clear is that Quebeckers were excited with this election. The sense that every vote could make a difference is new in Quebec politics.

When will live results begin appearing on the website? (Question from reader Chris)

Reporter Jill Mahoney: We'll have live election results starting at 10 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. PDT.

Does a high turnout generally favour the government or the opposition? (Question from reader Jennifer L.)

Reporter Daniel Leblanc: Hi Jennifer. We'll see soon, but common perception is that higher turnout is fed by a thirst for change. I was really sad when turnout went below 60 per cent, and I hope it goes back up.

You've said you will be discussing how the Globe is adjusting to rules in Section 329 of the Elections Canada Act; and so how has the Globe adjusted? (Question from reader GrahamW)

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Globe and Mail communities editor Jennifer MacMillan: Hi Graham - The biggest change you'll see on the website tonight is that we have closed comments on stories from 7 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET. We've posted a fuller explanation here of why we have to close comments in keeping with section 329 of the Elections Canada Act.

What are the chances that Duceppe and Ignatieff will step down if their parties are defeated? (Question from reader MichaelP)

Globe politics writer Adam Radwanski: Hi, Michael. I suspect that none of the leaders will step down tonight. But in Duceppe's case, if the Bloc really bottoms out, I don't know how he could stick around much longer. Which is kind of remarkable, when you think about it, because a few weeks ago there was chatter about him replacing Marois at the helm of the PQ.

As for Ignatieff - there's a school of thought that the Liberals' problems run so deep, they should keep him for at least a little while after this election rather than rushing into another leadership. That said, unless they perform well above expectations tonight, it's going to be really hard for him to lead the Liberals into another campaign.

The really troubling part from his perspective, I think, is that he's actually campaigned pretty well - and voters still don't seem to warm to him. I'm not sure if he could run a campaign in which he didn't get this kind of response. And if they don't see room for growth, his party will probably give up on him.

Are Harper's days numbered as Tory leader if he only manages a slim minority government? (Question from reader David P)

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Adam Radwanski: Hi, David. I don't think he's going anywhere immediately. And to be honest, it's really up to him. That is very much the Stephen Harper Party right now. I can't foresee much of an uprising at the Conservatives' convention this summer.

Incidentally, at some point the Conservatives are going to need to start considering their succession issues. Even if he wins a majority, Harper's not going to be around forever. And not a lot of other strong personalities have emerged - at least not ones who could capture the broad support of that party's membership.

If Harper plays the long-game as much as we all think, he needs to start worrying about this himself. And I'm not sure Jason Kenney is the answer.

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