Thursday, October 7
If all Bloc and Conservative MPs turned out to vote down the Liberals, it would take only Independent MP Chuck Cadman - a former Conservative - to reach the threshold of 154 votes required to defeat the government.
Under that scenario, there could be another election unless Gov.-Gen. Adrienne Clarkson gave Conservative Leader Stephen Harper the go-ahead to try forming his own government.
That very idea has sent the NDP scurrying toward the Liberals' side of the floor.
"If it's a confidence vote we in the NDP won't play that game," NDP Leader Jack Layton said.
"We don't want an election or - even worse - to make Mr. Harper the prime minister of Canada with the support of (Bloc Quebecois Leader) Gilles Duceppe.
"And that would be the consequence."