Fragmented Montreal and Laval facing a pale blue tsunami
The days when the electoral map of Montreal was separated into red in the west and blue in the east are well and truly over. The two leaders of the old parties (PLQ and PQ) are also in danger in their own Montreal county and will have to work extra hard to hope to represent their team at the Salon Bleu. Meanwhile, Québec solidaire is in a good position to continue to extend its tentacles on the island. If the CAQ is beginning to worry some Liberal candidates in Montreal, it is downright scary for those in Laval, where François Legault's training can hope to spend the guitar there.
Will there be a blue CAQ tidal wave on Jesus Island? It is not impossible. For now, only Chomedey seems to be giving the Liberals a clearer lead. In 2018, the CAQ had achieved a first breakthrough by winning Sainte-Rose and had fought serious battles throughout Laval. But the fort had held firm and the map had mostly remained red. Liberal Jean Rousselle obtained a hard-fought victory with only 567 votes in advance in Vimont. This year could therefore be the right one for the CAQ in this county with Valérie Schmaltz, who seems to enjoy a certain lead. The liberal and former director of Mr. Rousselle's county office, Anabela Monteiro, however, remains an opponent to be taken into account.
Of the five outgoing PLQ deputies in Laval, only Saul Polo is standing. He was narrowly elected in 2018 with only 217 votes before the CAQ. It was also the first time in the history of the county where voters had not voted overwhelmingly for the party chosen to form the government. Will Laval-des-Rapides once again become the barometer district? Recent probes suggest that it is possible since the manager Céline -Haytayan, for the CAQ, seems to enjoy a certain lead over Mr. Polo.
Just like in Vimont, the races in Fabre and Mille-Îles seem to be to the advantage of the CAQ, but we should beware of declaring the PLQ the loser too quickly. In Mille-Îles, the former municipal councilor of Laval Virginie Dufour is known to voters (even if she represented the district of Sainte-Rose). She faces the political adviser to Minister Benoit Charette, responsible for the fight against racism, Julie Séide, who, even if she does not live in Laval, seems to be ahead of her opponent. Ms. Séide is on her second attempt to enter the Salon bleu since she has already been a candidate in Montreal in Bourrassa-Sauvé, in 2018, also for the CAQ.
Québec solidaire can hope to make a new gain on the island, particularly in Maurice-Richard. Historically, this county, formerly named Crémazie, has always alternated between the PQ (notably Lisette Lapointe) and the PLQ. But this year, we risk seeing a change of allegiance since the race is between QS and the CAQ. In 2018, Marie Montpetit was elected under the Liberal banner before ending her mandate as an independent due to her expulsion from caucus. The one who has now left political life, however, had been closely heated by Quebec solidaire. It is therefore no coincidence that QS is betting on a big name this year: Haroun Bouazzi, assistant vice-president at the Business Development Bank of Canada. The CAQ is not to be outdone with lawyer Audrey Murray, who is the former president of the Labor Market Partners Commission.
Since its creation in 1980, this riding located in Dorval has always voted Liberal. But the deputy and ex-hockey player -Enrico Ciccone must begin to fear the defeat by the caquiste and businessman Marc Baaklini. The two men could be neck and neck, according to Too Close to call. According to a Mainstreet poll, the Liberal would have a lead similar to 2018 when he obtained 43% of the votes against 28% for the CAQ.
All bets are off with the departure of Lise Thériault, while the liberal reigned since 2002. For the moment, it is the CAQ, which finished second in 2018, and its candidate Karine Boivin Roy who seem to benefit. The one who was a municipal councilor in the Louis-Riel district until 2021 seems to have a short head start. But the liberal Chantal Gagnon, director general of the Senior Assistance and Referral Service of Anjou, is also a local candidate and was announced a year ago, which left her several months to meet the voters. In the neighboring county of Bourrassa-Sauvé, the liberal Madwa-Nika Cadet is still the leader, but the CAQ doctor Absa Diallo is still clearly visible in her rear view mirror.
The slope of PQ leader Paul St-Pierre-Plamondon seemed insurmountable. At the start of the campaign, he was third in the voting intentions in Camille-Laurin (Bourget), in the east of Montreal. This county, the former of the father of law 101 Camille Laurin, has long been a PQ. But in 2018, voters changed to the CAQ. Incumbent Richard Campeau enjoyed a lead in the polls throughout the campaign. The good performance of PSPP in the debates earned him points, but the turning point came on Monday. The departure of solidarity Marie-Ève Rancourt, forced to retire for stealing PQ leaflets from a mailbox, completely changes the situation. The PQ and the CAQ are now neck and neck.
Nothing is won for the Liberal leader -Dominique Anglade, who has represented the riding of Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne, in southwestern Montreal, since 2015. Voters have always been loyal to the PLQ, and particularly to Marguerite Blais, when she was a liberal. In 2022, however, we are witnessing a real three-way race between the PLQ, the CAQ and QS. Quebec solidaire had finished second there in 2018 and the lawyer specializing in immigration law Guillaume Cliche-Rivard represents a serious threat to Ms. Anglade. The young caquiste Nicolas Huard-Isabelle, a political attaché in the team of Richard Campeau, who was also involved in the youth wing of the party, could also cause surprise and should not be underestimated despite his 24 years .
The hearts of Verdun voters have always been red since 1966. But this year, there is a three-way fight between QS, the CAQ and the PLQ. The outgoing Liberal MP and former minister Isabelle Melançon is in bad shape. If it is given third for the moment, everything is not yet decided, because the gap is not abysmal. Nevertheless, the fight is raging between the caquiste Véronique Tremblay, well known in her riding since she is a municipal councilor there (in the team of the mayoress Valérie Plante), and Alejandra Zaga Mendez, candidate and president of QS. The party of Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois had also finished second in 2018. The PLQ must also keep an eye on QS in Viau, in Montreal, currently held by Frantz Benjamin. Even if the riding is traditionally won over to the Liberals, the polls show a serious orange progression with Renée-Chantal Belinga.
Battle between caquistes and conservatives in Quebec
In the Quebec region, the fight will take place mainly between the CAQ and the Conservative Party of Quebec of Éric Duhaime, with the exception of two united Gallic villages which will have to fight hard to keep their county. For the old parties who had been wiped out of the region in 2018, even by lighting lanterns, they are unlikely to succeed in regaining their former strongholds.
Chauveau's neighbors should not underestimate the Duhaime effect, whether the candidates are outgoing CAQ ministers or not. In the suburbs of Quebec, the Conservatives could get 30% of the voting intentions, according to forecasts from Qc125. Two ministers, Éric Caire in La Peltrie, Jonatan Julien in Charlesbourg, and outgoing MP Jean-François Simard in Montmorency, must take nothing for granted. But it is the ex-columnist Mario Asselin in Vanier-Les Rivières who must have the most cold sweats. The gap between the caquist and the curator Donald Gagnon, owner of Harvey's restaurant, is narrow.
The voters of Taschereau, the former stronghold of the péquiste Agnès Maltais, had massively voted for the solidarity Catherine Dorion. But will they renew their allegiance despite the latter's departure? QS recruit Étienne Grandmont, director of the Accès transport viable organization as well as protramway and anti-third link activist, has the profile QS is looking for. He appears to have a good head start, according to poll-based predictions. Some believed that the PQ Jeanne Robin, director of Vivre en ville, an organization very close to the one directed by Mr. Grandmont, would further confuse the issue. But for now, she would be third behind caquiste and public service executive Pascale St-Hilaire.
According to electoral projection sites and several polls, Éric Duhaime is sometimes leader in Chauveau, sometimes second, behind the outgoing CAQ deputy Sylvain Lévesque. The latter had beaten the Liberal minister delegate Véronyque Tremblay with a comfortable lead. The ground here is fertile for the federal Conservatives and also seems to be so for Mr. Duhaime. It is in any case the most serious hope for the PCQ. And it may be that the Duhaime effect is underestimated in the polls.
The riding has long been liberal, in addition to an idyll with the ADQ and Jean-François Gosselin, in 2007-2008. This county straddling the boroughs of Beauport and La Cité-Limoilou was the scene of a heated struggle between QS and the CAQ, in the last ballot. Solidarity Sol Zanetti won, but by only 699 votes, ahead of retired school principal Christiane Gamache. The PLQ, to the great surprise, had finished third. The CAQ candidate is however back on the ballots for a revenge match. And again this year, according to Qc125 and Too close to call, the hearts of voters waver between orange and light blue. The issue of air quality in Limoilou, an issue defended by Sol Zanetti, could mobilize his base.
The former radio host Bernard Drainville has a great notoriety. But will this be enough to convince the voters of Lévis to vote for this former PQ minister who does not live in Lévis? Soundings suggest yes. The territory has also been a caquiste since 2012. The “blunder” committed by Mr. Drainville when he declared “Let go of me with the GHGs” will not harm him so much in his riding since he was then defending the third link between Quebec and Lévis, a project dear to its constituents. He thus enjoys a certain head start over his closest rival, curator Karine Laflamme. But the latter is a local candidate who was a municipal councilor in Lévis until 2021. If the PCQ effect is underestimated in the polls, election night could end late.
Long liberal, this riding of Chaudière-Appalaches showed in 2018 that it should not be taken for granted by voting 53% for the CAQ, or 8,000 votes more than the liberal Dominique Vien. This year, the rise of the Conservatives in Beauce could spill over into the neighboring county of Bellechasse. According to the site Too close to call, curator Michel Tardif made a great breakthrough to grab second place behind outgoing caquiste Stéphanie Lachance.
If the voters of Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, also in the city of Lévis, have voted CAQ in recent years, they have mostly been loyal to Marc Picard, who has represented them since 2003 (ADQ, CAQ). The latter had also announced that he was representing himself in 2022 before changing his mind this summer. The candidacy of journalist Martine Biron caused a surprise. Even if she seems to have a relatively comfortable lead, she cannot underestimate her closest rival, the conservative and former municipal councilor of Lévis, Mario Fortier. He is a “well-rooted” candidate, unlike the caquiste rookie, underlined the leader of the PCQ, Éric Duhaime. In addition, Ms. Biron, when she was a political analyst, had criticized the absence of a study in favor of the third link. Did his sudden conversion to the project convince his voters?
BEAUCE-NORD ET SUD
La Beauce is one of the areas most favorable to conservatives. In Beauce-Sud, outgoing MP Samuel Poulin must feel the Conservative breeze blowing down his neck. Without presuming the choice of the voters, we are not going too far in declaring that the elected candidate will be called Poulin. The Conservative candidate, second, is also a Poulin (Jonathan), followed a little further by the Liberal Antoine… Poulin.
In Beauce-Nord, the caquist and former mayor of Beauceville Luc Provençal is warmed up by the current mayor of Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon and deputy prefect of the MRC de La Nouvelle-Beauce, Olivier Dumais. The battles are very close and all hopes are still high for the Conservatives.
PQ strongholds in danger in Eastern Quebec
The Parti Québécois practically became the party of a single sector of the province: Est-du-Québec. Will its fortresses be able to resist the great CAQ seduction? A pale blue wave is possible. Québec solidaire could also make a first breakthrough in the east, but will have to fight hard.
Québec solidaire is betting big for this riding by presenting Cree activist Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash, daughter of former federal MP Romeo Saganash. For the moment, she is third, but the vote is very divided between the five parties in this county. Long PQ, then briefly Liberal, Ungava switched to the CAQ in 2018. Denis Lamothe was elected with only 26% of the vote, 46 more than the PQ and only 136 more than the PLQ. QS, fourth, had obtained 16.5% of the voters' choice. Mr. Lamothe is in the lead this year. But the former mayor of Kuujjuaq, Tunu Napartuk, for the PLQ, and the former NDP federal MP who became a PQ member Christine Moore, remain combative.
The last PQ riding in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, which once belonged to former premier Lucien Bouchard, seems to be on the verge of falling. Incumbent Sylvain Gaudreault having left the ship after five consecutive victories, Caroline Dubé does not have an easy task. The former director of the office of Bloc Québécois deputy Mario Simard at the federal level is second, according to Qc125. The wind seems to be pushing a little stronger in the sails of caquiste Yannick Gagnon, general manager of the Patro de Jonquière.
The CAQ has unleashed its big guns on the North Shore. A PQ member without interruption since 2003, the riding of René-Lévesque is courted by the CAQ member and current mayor of Baie-Comeau, Yves Montigny. For its part, with the departure of outgoing MP Martin Ouellet, the PQ is counting on the assistant of Bloc Québécois MP Marilène Gill, Jeff Dufour Tremblay. Only a few points separate the two men, but Mr. Montigny would have a slight lead.
In this riding, 63% of voters voted “yes” in the 1995 referendum. At the federal level, they vote for the Bloc Québécois. Rimouski has blue blood. But will it turn light blue this year? Since 2014, the PQ Harold LeBel was elected there with very good scores. But his departure from the party in controversy (he is accused of sexual assault) opens the door to renewal. A victory for Mr. LeBel's successor, his former political aide Samuel Ouellet, is still possible. He is well known in Rimouski. According to the electoral projection sites, he is slightly ahead of the caquiste and ex-mayor of Sainte-Luce, Maïté Blanchette Vézina. Carol-Ann Kack, from Québec solidaire, is also in the race for three. As the university town has many students, this could work in its favor.
< p>Since the PQ has existed, Duplessis has always voted blue. In 2018, however, Lorraine Richard got away with a good scare with a victory of barely 130 votes over the CAQ. Even if it is one of the last strongholds of the PQ, the party had to launch an appeal to all this summer to find a candidate after the departure of Ms. Richard. They finally found Marilou Vanier, a Laval resident living in Sept-Îles for 7 years. She is trying to bridge the gap that separates her from Kateri Champagne Jourdain, the first Aboriginal to sit on the Desjardins Group Board of Directors. Well known in her region, she could become the first Aboriginal woman in the National Assembly.
The voters of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine like to change the color of MP. In 2018, the Madelinots were divided. The PQ and former mayor of the Magdalen Islands, Joël Arseneau, beat his Liberal rival by just 15 votes. The CAQ candidate was not in the race at the time, even finishing fourth, behind QS. This year, however, the CAQ is in on the action. She recruited the current mayor, Jonathan Lapierre, the very same who had beaten Mr. Arseneau for mayor in 2013. The two men therefore meet for a new duel. Will Mr. Arseneau be able to take his revenge? The evening promises to be exciting.
Pascal Bérubé is not particularly worried in Matane-Matapédia, where voters have given him overwhelming majorities since 2007. He is still well in the saddle this year, and his closest opponent, the caquiste Jean-Sébastien Barriault, should not be a threat. Mr. Barriault, who has already been mayor of Les Méchins, however seems to be in a better position than his predecessor in 2018. The question for Mr. Bérubé is rather whether he will be the only PQ survivor in the region or worse, in the Blue Room. .
Outgoing MP Sylvain Roy slammed the door of the PQ last year. But voters in René Lévesque's native region may not have turned their backs on the party. According to forecasts made on the basis of surveys, the former journalist and lawyer Alexis Deschênes, of the PQ, is having a heated battle with the CAQ candidate Catherine Blouin, a project manager at the CISSS de la Gaspésie who is very involved in her region (she has was named volunteer of the year in Carleton-sur-Mer in 2017). Like Gaspé, the county of Bonaventure has often changed allegiance according to the elections.
PQ rookie Méganne Perry Mélançon won Gaspé County with difficulty and misery in 2018, with only 41 votes ahead of the Liberal candidate. In fact, on election night, the latter was the winner, but the PQ was declared the winner after a judicial recount. This year, the CAQ waited two days before the election was called to announce its candidate, Stéphane Sainte-Croix, director of the tourist organization Destination Gaspé. The PQ Pascal Bérubé said that no less than 15 people would have refused the offer of François Legault to be a candidate. But who cares since the important thing is to finish first and Mr. Sainte-Croix seems to have a slight lead. QS is also presenting a serious candidacy, namely the regional director of public health, Yv Bonnier-Viger.
The CAQ in a good position in most regions
It has often been said of the CAQ that it was the party of the suburbs. She is in a good position to paint the entire Montérégie in pale blue, and perhaps even the Eastern Townships. But Québec solidaire is working hard to keep its riding of Sherbrooke and even win the neighbor, Saint-François.
This county made up of Saint-Lambert, parts of Brossard and Longueuil is, with La Pinière, the last liberal stronghold on the South Shore. Nicole Ménard had been elected there since 2007, but her departure could give voters a taste for change. The PLQ is counting on star candidate Mathieu Gratton, a former comedian, to attract votes. The CAQ presents Isabelle Poulet, municipal councilor in Sainte-Julie, also on the South Shore. His notoriety in Laporte is however less. Ms. Poulet was part of the team of the former mayor of Sainte-Julie, Suzanne Roy, CAQ candidate in Verchères. Will the two women meet again at the Blue Salon? Forecasts suggest the odds are good.
The president of the PLQ, Linda Caron, has the difficult task of taking up the torch from the outgoing MP, Gaétan Barrette, who is bowing out. She faces the Caquiste rookie Samuel Gatien, a family doctor from the South Shore. The two candidates lead a hot fight. This liberal castle, long represented by Fatima Houda-Pépin, could topple over.
The departure of Claire Samson, after her conversion to the Conservative Party of Quebec, will allow voters in Iberville to decide on their allegiance. Do they want to remain caquistes as they decided in 2018 or did they follow the same path as their deputy? Conservative leader Éric Duhaime believes in it and has chosen to present star candidate and ex-actress Anne Casabonne. The caquiste and farmer Audrey Bogemans, however, seems to have the wind in her sails, and a breakthrough of the PCQ in Montérégie seems unlikely. Ms. Casabonne is still in second place, which is already a surprise.
Solidarity Christine Labrie caused a big surprise in 2018 by beating Liberal Minister Luc Fortin. The MP has also proven to be a formidable parliamentarian. But his re-election is by no means guaranteed. The CAQ went on the attack by presenting a star, Caroline St-Hilaire, ex-mayor of Longueuil and ex-MP for the Bloc, recycled as a radio and TV columnist. Everything is possible in this county, which has changed allegiance several times in recent years. The two women would be neck and neck, but Ms. Labrie would have a slight lead, according to Segma research. The caravan's many stops in Sherbrooke, notably for the show l'Estrie de show, demonstrate how crucial the issue is for QS.
This is where QS launched its campaign and it is no coincidence. By presenting its star candidate in the neighboring riding of Sherbrooke, Dr. Mélissa -Généreux, former regional director of public health, QS wants to continue clearing this region. Since the end of the liberal reign of Monique Gagnon-Tremblay (elected for 27 years!), this riding has changed hands several times. If the polls are to be believed, the ground could well be fertile for QS. Solidarity is neck and neck with the outgoing MP, the caquiste Geneviève Hébert. A second surprise in the Eastern Townships is not improbable.
The Outaouais has always been red. Even dark red. But the CAQ breakthrough in 2018 proved that nothing is certain for the Liberals. Moreover, the CAQ intends to continue to extend its domination by seeking the last two counties out of the five in the region. QS hoped for its part to continue its momentum in Abitibi, but keeping Rouyn is proving more complicated than expected.
Even the election of André Fortin in Pontiac is not guaranteed. He would still be ahead of the caquiste Corinne Canuel-Jolicoeur, but the difficult campaign of his party could make him lose precious votes. This former minister and current parliamentary leader of the PLQ, who has represented this riding since 2014, advised the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, for his federal campaign in 2021. He also helped his leader, Dominique Anglade, for his preparation to the debates of the last few days. His impressive track record for his young age, 40, could still weigh heavily in the voters' balance.
Maryse Gaudreault is in danger. According to a recent Segma poll, the Liberal's lead is fragile in this riding, which she has represented since 2008. But the big surprise is that we are witnessing a real three-way race with Suzanne Tremblay, of the CAQ, who is not very far, and Mathieu Perron-Dufour for QS.
Québec solidaire seeks to keep Rouyn-Noranda–-Témiscamingue in its fold. After her surprise victory in 2018 with only 500 votes before the CAQ, Émilise Lessard-Therrien stood out as a parliamentarian, particularly on issues of work-family balance. She also brought the air quality file to Rouyn-Noranda due to emissions from the Horne smelter. But his record does not immediately guarantee him a second term. The fight is extremely tight between the solidarity and the caquiste Daniel Bernard, a municipal councilor from Rouyn-Noranda and former Liberal MP until 2012. The CAQ had however had a bad start in the county. Its first candidate, Claude Thibault, withdrew after only two days.
You have to go back very far to the 20th century to find an MP who was not Liberal in Vaudreuil, between 1936 and 1939, the time of a flirtation with the Union Nationale. Marie-Claude Nichols was elected there in 2014 with an overwhelming majority of more than 20,000 votes in front of the PQ. In 2018, this lead had shrunk to 2,700 votes before the CAQ. In 2022, if she wins, it is because she will have made the polls lie. François Legault's candidate Eve Bélec, director of the Carrefour jeunesse-emploi de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, would be first for the moment, but the gap is not insurmountable.
The little darker blue dot in the middle of the light blue ocean on the 450 electoral map is Joliette, the riding of PQ member Véronique Hivon. A respected parliamentarian and popular MP with her constituents, her departure opens the door wide for the CAQ. The Caquiste François St-Louis, who is also political attaché for the party, will be on his second attempt. He had finished second with nearly 4,500 votes behind Ms. Hivon. The latter's successor to the PQ is Véronique Venne, also well known in the region, as she is mayoress of the municipality of Sainte-Marie-Salomé. However, she was a member of the CAQ until last June. It's hard to predict the outcome of the duel as the two candidates follow each other.
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Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128