For the NDP, there's reason to cheer - and to fear - what awaits in the next two years.
While the Liberals lost the election and the Conservatives didn't get that majority after all, Jack Layton pulled off the best federal NDP performance in nearly two decades.
That's especially good news for the party in Ontario, where there may be a provincial election before there's another federal one.
There are now more NDP reps in Ottawa than there are at Queen's Park, a development that may provide the injection of energy that Howard Hampton needs to get his party off life support.
There are also three NDP MPs from Toronto, including Olivia Chow, fave of both the NDP leader to whom she's married and the Ottawa press gallery.
Hacks are suckers for a good love story, and this one is so perfectly Canadian, starring as it does the political spawn of Tommy Douglas the greatest Canadian and the effervescent immigrant whose presence and record as councillor so powerfully evoke the spirit of 21st-century Canada.
But with the two of them in Ottawa, will any of the other 27 NDP MPs ever get their mugs on TV?
As their former city council colleagues know, Layton and Chow have a way of sucking up all the attention. It may not be long before we start to hear whining from caucus members.
We heard grumbling about an all-controlling leader's office during Layton's first term. Now that his wife's on the scene, don't bet on the boss being any more inclusive, even with a newly enlarged stable of MPs.
Though the power couple are guaranteed their share of ink, it's far from clear what the political narrative of the federal NDP will be in the coming couple of years.
In the last Parliament, Layton was the perky leader of the fourth party who craftily got the Liberal government to rewrite the federal budget to axe corporate tax cuts in favour of social goodies such as urban transit.
The federal NDP can no longer count on a compliant government with similar political views to co-opt. Layton no longer holds anything close to a balance of power. And, on the face of it, the NDP and Conservative leaders have nothing in common except an Ottawa address.
But long-time Layton-Chow watchers know how much they pride themselves on their ability to conduct constructive engagement, even in the most hostile conditions. Witness their willingness as councillors to get in bed with the crackpot former mayor of Toronto, Mel Lastman. Just as Lastman needed them as a conduit to the foreign land of downtown, so Layton may be able to persuade Harper that the NDP can deal.
After all, the new prime minister has no MPs from the country's largest cities, a deficiency he will need to set right in time for the next election.
Layton, the former president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, may be able to translate the needs and wants of urban Canada into language Harper can understand.
But there's an inherent danger for the NDP in such a gambit.
In the just-finished campaign, some leftists had their misgivings about Layton's willingness to resort to law-and-order policies like minimum sentences for certain gun crimes. Those doubting leftists will get mouthier, depending on how close Layton gets to the new PM.
On top of that, if the public turns against the Conservatives, it may also extract its pound of political flesh from the party that propped them up.
And by the time we go to the polls again, Layton may no longer be the fresh face in Ottawa. That position will have been relinquished to a new Liberal leader unsullied by the sponsorship scandal or the missteps of power.
Tides come and go. Layton will have to swim carefully.