Ignatieff accepts defeat and its ‘hard lessons’

Speaking to teary supporters shortly before midnight, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff conceded defeat to Stephen Harper and the Conservative government.

Ignatieff’s party placed a distant third, behind the Conservatives and the NDP. He was defeated in his own riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore as well by Conservative candidate Bernard Trottier. As of 12:30 a.m. May 3, Ignatieff had polled 12,662 votes (34 per cent) while Trottier earned 14,747 votes (40 per cent).

“I accept my responsibility for what has occurred,” Ignatieff told supporters at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. “I want to thank all who stood with me.”

Although the Liberals fared poorly this election, Ignatieff maintained a sense of optimism for the party’s future.

“Democracy teaches hard lessons,” he said. “We have to learn the lessons of defeat and we have to be united enough to look ourselves in the mirror and look at what the Canadian people have said tonight.”

He went on to congratulate Stephen Harper and NDP leader Jack Layton.