The Liberal Party gained about 20 seats in Monday night's election and stole ridings from the Parti Québécois — including PQ Leader Pauline Marois's seat in her riding of Charlevoix—Côte-de-Beaupré.
With roughly 33 per cent of the popular vote, Marois lost to Liberal candidate Caroline Simard.
Marois announced she was stepping down as PQ leader during an emotional concession speech.
Gains in Montreal belt
The Liberals did well in the 450 areas north and south of the island of Montreal. Known as the “Montreal belt,” races in the ridings of Montreal’s north and south shores have always been hot.
The Liberals swept the island of Laval, taking all six ridings — two of them (Sainte-Rose and Laval-des-Rapides) at the expense of the Parti Québécois.
Throughout the campaign, many observers have focused on the South Shore riding of La Pinière — a Liberal stronghold.
The Liberal candidate Gaétan Barrette, former president of the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec, took the win easily with about 58 per cent of the popular vote.
He beat out incumbent and longtime Liberal MNA Fatima Houda-Pépin, who ran as an independent after she quit the Liberal Party earlier this year over the secular charter of values.
In the riding of Saint-Jérôme in the Laurentians, media mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau will make his political debut as a PQ MNA. CBC projected a win, with about 37 per cent support. The seat used to belong to the CAQ.
QS gets 3 Montreal seats
Québec Solidaire held on to its two seats in Montreal, and picked up a third seat in Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques in southeast Montreal.
With ballots being counted late into the night, QS candidate Manon Massé was elected with about 31 per cent of the vote — a razor-thin victory over the Liberals who got about 30 per cent support.
The party's co-spokesperson, Françoise David, held on to her seat in the Montreal riding of Gouin and Amir Khadir is projected to win in the Montreal riding of Mercier that he's held since 2008.
- Montreal's political landscape not altered dramatically
- Riding results: Gouin
- Riding results: Mercier
Québec Solidaire tried to fight for the Montreal riding of Laurier-Dorion and there was even speculation the party could make it close in the traditionally working-class neighbourhood of Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, where incumbent Parti Québécois MNA Carole Poirier won in 2012 with 45 per cent of the vote.
Québec Solidaire came in second in Hocehlaga—Maisonneuve again, but narrowed its gap with the PQ.
A couple of top economists are now Liberal MNAs on Montreal's West Island.
Laurentian Bank chief economist Carlos Leitao took the riding of Robert-Baldwin, while Bank of Canada economist Martin Coiteux won the western-most riding of Nelligan.
The Liberal Party has always ruled Montreal’s West Island, winning by margins of several thousand votes over rival candidates in the ridings of Nelligan, Robert-Baldwin, Marquette and Jacques-Cartier.
The Liberals narrowly won back the seat of their former leader in the riding of Sherbrooke, which is in the heart of the Eastern Townships.
Traditionally a Liberal riding, former Premier and Liberal Leader Jean Charest held the seat since he entered provincial politics in 1998.
In the last election the Parti Québecois won there by almost 3,000 votes — ousting Charest from his seat.
Liberals strong in Quebec City area
The Liberals unseated four Coalition Avenir Québec incumbents in Charlesbourg, Portneuf, Vanier—Les Rivières and Montmorency.
- Liberals grab 4 CAQ seats in Quebec City
- Riding results: Charlesbourg
- Riding results: Portneuf
- Riding results: Vanier—Les Rivières
- Riding results: Montmorency
Those ridings all went to the CAQ in 2012 by small margins.