When the Liberals announced at the end of the summer they would no longer prop up Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, it set off a flurry of election speculation. Nothing ever came of it, though Harper threw election junkies a bone on Sunday, announcing four by-elections for November 9. Two vacant ridings in Quebec (Hochelaga and Montmagny-L’Islet-Kamouraska-Riviere-du-Loup), one in B.C. (New Westminster-Coquitlam), and another in Nova Scotia (Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley) will be up for grabs in votes that could go a long way in allowing parties to gauge their chances in an upcoming federal election. The Bloc Québécois is expected to keep both ridings in Quebec while the Conservatives are hoping to make inroads in the other two.