Will the Liberals do worse in Gatineau with Stéphane Dion as leader? Gatineau is the riding accross the Ottawa river from 24 Sussex Drive (the Prime Minister's residence). In the last federal election, the Liberals with Paul Martin did pretty badly in the Ottawa area. The civil servants' union officially supported the Liberals, but considering how many civil servants lost their jobs when Martin was Finance Minister, they could perhaps be forgiven for holding a grudge.
Only 17% of Gatineau voters voted Conservative. So the protest vote theory has some logic. However, 39% of the voters chose a party who's mission (Quebec being an independent country) would transfer jobs from Ottawa to Quebec City!
However, assuming every sovereignist voted for the Bloc, that still leaves at least 61% of the Gatineau population againts Quebec becoming a country.
But now that job slashing Martin is out of the picture, will Ottawa area residents (1.1 million and counting) start to dread the potential doom of a majority Conservative government? And if so, will the ridings within swimming distance of Parliament revert to being federalist?
I wont hazard a prediction.