With political journalists and junkies all chattering about an NDP surge, it's worth pointing out that an 11 year trend might be a more reasonable explanation. Let's take a look at election results for the Liberals, starting with the 2000 election.
2000 election-liberal majority 172 seats
2004 election-Liberal minority 135 seats
2006 election-Conservative minority Liberals 103 seats
2008 election-enhanced Conservative minority Liberals 77 seats
2011 election-Conservative majority/minority? Liberal seats estimated to be 55-83 seats.
So looking at the Liberal trendline, between the 2000 and 2008 election, Liberals saw a net loss of 95 seats over 3 elections. With Layton and the NDP surging, and polls such as Nanos putting the Lib/Dippers in a dead heat, could this not just be a continuation of the Liberal vote over the last 11 years?
My opinion is it is a result of both Layton doing well in the campaign and more voters on the left becoming more disenfranchised with the Liberal Party of Canada.