Quebec election 2014: François Legault wants CAQ to be 'credible alternative'

Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault says his party will spend the next four years preparing for the next election, to ensure it can provide a "credible alternative" for Quebec voters.

Party leaders head back to Quebec City and its new political landscape after provincial election

François Legault addresses media before heading back to Quebec City, the day after the 2014 Quebec election. (CBC)

Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault says his party will spend the next four years preparing for the next election, to ensure it can provide a "credible alternative" for Quebec voters.

Quebec's political leaders will be heading back to a very different National Assembly in Quebec City today, after an election night that saw Philippe Couillard rise to power with a majority Liberal government. 

"I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past 33 days," Legault said from Montreal this morning, before heading back to the province's capital. 

Legault cautioned Quebecers to be wary of the Liberal government.

"I will be frank, I think it's not healthy for our society ... that a party can take power without proposing anything," he said. 

Legault said that even though he focused his campaign on taxes and the economy, the Liberal and Parti Québécois leaders allowed themselves to be drawn into an election over a sovereignty referendum.

He said his party will be reflecting on how it can ensure that the next election will focus on real issues. 

Couillard is set to address the public from Quebec City at about 2 p.m. ET. 

Candidates emerge for PQ leadership

Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois is not expected to address the media Tuesday following her defeat, and many are wondering who will step up to the plate to fill the leader's shoes. 

Monday night's election saw Couillard's Liberals win overwhelmingly, and the lowest PQ support since 1970, when the party was under Robert Bourassa's leadership.

But CBC's Rosemary Barton says the good news for the PQ is there’s no lack of interest in taking over Marois's job.

Among the most obvious choices are:

  • Media mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau.
  • Bernard Drainville, the former minister responsible for the secular charter.
  • Jean-François Lisée, former international relations minister.

Jean Dorion, a former Bloc Québécois MP, says there’s no doubt that Péladeau is angling to lead the PQ.

Pierre Karl Péladeau, who won a seat in the National Assembly last night, is expected to make a bid to be leader of the Parti Québécois, but he will likely face some stiff competition. (Canadian Press)

“I cannot imagine a man of the amplitude of Mr. Péladeau staying as a backbencher in an opposition party,” Dorion told CBC’s Daybreak.

“Of course he’s aiming to become the new leader.”

But Dorion said Lisée and Drainville were both gunning for the job long before Péladeau appeared on the scene, and each has his own following within the party.

“Those two have a kind of nuclear weapon against Péladeau, because they can always tell people that it started turning wrong when [Péladeau] raised his fist and talked about the referendum.”'

Marois is not out of the picture yet.

After conceding defeat on Monday night, Marois said she would stick around to help complete the transition process within the party, before officially stepping down.

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