The Bloc Québécois has chosen former MP Daniel Paillé as the new leader of the party as it seeks to rebuild after a disastrous showing in the May election.


Daniel Paillé takes over a party that has only three seats in Parliament after holding 47 before last May's election. (CBC)

"We will never turn our backs on the fight," Paillé told party members in Montreal after his victory Sunday, referring to the Bloc's separatist roots.

Two current MPs, Maria Mourani and Jean-Francois Fortin were also in the race to replace Gilles Duceppe, who was chosen leader of the party in 1997 and resigned last May, nine days after the federal vote that cost his party dearly.

Both Paillé and Duceppe lost their seats in Parliament in the last election and the Bloc was left with a mere four seats.

The Bloc Québécois had held 47 of Quebec's 75 seats in the previous Parliament before its near-total wipeout.

Party membership has slumped since the election.

More than a quarter of the party's 53,000 members didn't renew their card and won't be able to vote for the next leader.

Paillé said the Bloc is a "party that fights" and will "move ahead."

"We're still alive and well, and we have to look forward," he said.

Paillé told the CBC the fact that he does not have a seat is a good thing, as he can be a full-time leader and travel across Quebec meeting with people in every riding.