Liberals hang on to 4 seats in the Eastern Townships
PQ's Hébert wins Saint-François, Aussant loses Nicolet-Bécancour
The Liberal's Pierre Paradis has hung on to his Eastern Townships riding of Brome-Missisquoi, narrowly beating the CAQ's Benoit Legault.
The Liberals have salvaged four seats in the region, electing Ghislain Bolduc in Mégantic, re-electing Pierre Reid in Orford and electing Karine Vallières by a 101-vote margin in Richmond.
The blow, of course, is in Sherbrooke, where Liberal Leader Jean Charest has lost to the PQ's Serge Cardin.
A tight race in Richmond
The Liberal's Karine Vallières is following in her father's footsteps in Richmond. Yvon Vallières stepped down from politics after holding the riding for three decades.
It was the senior Vallières who came through with a $58M loan to the Jeffrey asbestos mine — a welcome move for the economically-strapped town of Asbestos in this riding, but one opposed by the Parti Québécois, which has promised to cancel that loan.
Controversial PQ candidate loses in Trois-Rivières
Liberal Danielle Ste-Amand won a tight fight in the Mauricie riding of Trois-Rivières, beating the PQ's Djemila Benhabib.
Benhabib's candidacy made headlines early in the campaign, when the devoutly Catholic mayor of Saguenay, Jean Tremblay, attacked her stance on secularism, saying the Algerian-born woman "doesn't understand our culture at all."
Réjean Hébert squeaks through in Saint-François
The PQ's Réjean Hébert, the doctor touted to be health minister in a PQ cabinet, won one of the tightest races in the province — beating Liberal newcomer Nathalie Goguen in the central Québec riding of Saint-François by a scant 101 votes.
Goguen, a former municipal councillor, replaced former deputy premier Monique Gagnon-Tremblay as the Liberal candidate after Gagnon Tremblay announced she would not run again in Saint-François, the seat she held for 27 years.
CAQ's Sylvie Roy wins in Arthabaska
Former ADQ member Sylvie Roy, running for the CAQ in 2012, has won her seat by a 12 per cent margin in the redrawn riding of Arthabaska, beating Liberal incumbent Claude Béchand.
Roy was one of the few Adéquistes to hold onto her riding in 2008, and she made a name for herself as the first MNA to call for a public inquiry into corruption in Quebec's construction industry.
Four of the six ridings in Central Quebec were held by the Liberals going into this race. They include two prominent cabinet ministers — Public Security Minister Robert Dutil in Beauce-Sud and Municipal Affairs Minister Laurent Lessard in Lotbiniere-Frontenac.
Lessard was reelected in Lotbinière-Frontenac, by about a 10 per cent margin.
Dutil is leading in Beauce-Sud, ahead of the CAQ's Richard Savoie by a sliver.
Nicolet-Bécancour goes CAQ
Option Nationale leader Jean-Martin Aussant has lost in Nicolet-Bécancour, the seat he held for the PQ until he abandoned the party in June 2011.
The CAQ's Donald Martel won the riding by a slim six percentage point margin, with the Liberals running third and the PQ fourth.