Opposition parties brought down the government of Canada on Friday, setting the scene for an early election in May.
Legislators voted 156-145 in the House of Commons to defeat the government.
The vote stemmed from a ruling on Monday that the minority government was in contempt of parliament.
The Opposition said the government was tainted by sleaze, has mismanaged the economy and was overly secretive.
But the Conservatives are thought likely to keep power in an election.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will ask the Governor General on Saturday to dissolve parliament. The most likely dates are 2 or 9 May.
It will be the fourth federal election in seven years.
The Conservatives have been in power since 2006.