Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quebec By-elections

Two by-elections in safe Liberal seats and the Liberals lost one of them.   First, LaFontaine in Montreal which they retained.

CAQ = Coalition Avenir Quebec
QS = Quebec Solidaire
ON = Option nationale
EA = Equipe Autonomiste


Party   Candidate      2012 Vote       2008 Vote  Change
Liberal Marc Tanguay   5,446  53.32 14,021 69.76 -16.44
PQ Frédéric St-Jean    1,736  17.00  3,840 19.11  -2.11
CAQ Domenico Cavaliere 1,591  15.58  1,306  6.50  +9.08 
QS Sébastien Rivard    603     5.09    383  1.91  +3.18
Green Gaëtan Bérard    308     3.02    549  2.73  +0.29
ON Paolo Zambito       167     1.64  
Cons Patrice Raza      129     1.26  
Ind M.-A. Beauchesne   104     1.02  
Parti nul Renaud Blais 88     0.86  
EA Guy Boivin 42     0.41  
Total valid votes   10,214    98.24 20,099 98.73
Total rejected ballots 183     1.76    258  1.27  +0.49
Turnout             10,397    25.56 20,357 51.16 -25.60
Electors            40,679     39,794
CAQ compared to ADQ in 2008)

The Liberal vote took a serious drop in their vote but neither the PQ or CAQ did gain enough to be a serious challenger to the Liberals.   The last time anyone did moderately well was in 1998 when the PQ took a bit more than 30% of the vote.

Quebec solidaire did increase a bit but given the whole youth/left protest against the government they should have done much better.  The other minor parties all did rather badly.  The Green vote was equal to the number of election volunteers the party should have had.   For ON, the Conservatives and EA the candidates could not even get their closest friends to vote for them.

With the sort of drop the Liberals suffered, it would seem to indicate that the PQ should be able to win a comfortable majority when the general election happens


The second is Argenteuil which has been held by the Liberals since 1966 though the ADQ and PQ were a serious threat in 2007 and the PQ almost won it in 1998.

Party  Candidate       2012 Vote     2008 Vote  Change
PQ Roland Richer      6,568  36.16  7,353 33.62  +2.54
Liberal Lise Proulx   6,067  33.40 10,843 49.58 -16.18
CAQ Mario Laframboise 3,887  21.40  2,457 11.24 +10.16
Green Claude Sabourin   543   2.99    760  3.49  -0.49 
QS Yvan Zanetti         490   2.70    456  2.09  +0.61
ON Patrick Sabourin     243   1.34
Cons Jean Lecavalier    190   1.05
Ind Georges Lapointe    151   0.83
EA Gérald Nicolas        26   0.14
Total valid votes    18,165  98.71 21,869 98.44  
Total rejected ballots  237   1.29    346  1.56  -0.27
Turnout              18,402  42.36 22,215 54.17 -11.81
Electors             43,441        41,006
(CAQ compares to ADQ in 2008)

The PQ have to be happy to have won this seat.   It also makes it clear that they are the main opposition to the Liberals.   The total vote of the PQ has held fairly steady over four elections.  Even though the total vote was down in the by-election, the PQ vote held up well.

CAQ had a strong candidate running in Mario Laframboise who was the BQ MP for the area for 11 years and should have done much better.  Even though the change from the ADQ result in 2008 looks impressive, when compared to 2007 it does not.

What the by-elections say to me overall is that we are likely looking at a PQ government in Quebec which means Quebec independence will once again be a political issue in Canada.

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