OK, I'll bite. Thought Mark might comment on this, he may have something to add or refute what I have to say entirely!
"the elected left ran farther to the socialist side" implies the previous Liberal opposition was already socialist. Well, I guess it depends on your point of reference. Here they were considered in the center and the Conservatives a little right of center. People on the hard right in the US and Canada don't really consider the Conservatives more than a few millimeters right of center. Glenn Beck would probably call Stephen Harper a socialist. Like I said, it depends on your point of reference.
Mr. Harper has mentioned that he would like the Conservative party to become more mainstream (center) and that is about the only chance of long term success for the Conservatives. In my opinion what they really need for long term success is another party further to the right, as Canadians prefer to stay in the middle.
What really made an impact in the election was the implosion of the separatist party in Quebec. Most of their seats were lost to the NDP which is why they are the new opposition rather than the Liberals.
Elsewhere, there was a lot of vote splitting between the NDP (mild left) and the Liberals (center). This worked out very well for the Conservatives as they gained many seats with less votes than they had previously lost with. So much of the gains made by the Conservatives were due to the misfortunes of others.
Ironically, the new NDP opposition has less power than before, as the Conservatives now have a majority and don't really need to worry about the opposition any more.
The other irony is we still pay more for gas than you, around $4.75 per US gallon and rising.