Montreal

Gilles Duceppe defeated, BQ falls short of achieving party status

The Bloc Québécois more than doubled the seats it had in 2011, but it wasn’t enough to make the night a success.

"You are the Quebec that I love,” Duceppe told his supporters in his concession speech Monday night

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe arrives at the Bloc Quebecois election headquarters to speak to supporters, Tuesday, October 20, 2015 in Montreal. (Jacques Boissinot/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Bloc Québécois more than doubled the seats it had in 2011, but it wasn't enough to make the night a success.

Leader Gilles Duceppe once again lost in his riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie — once again to the NDP's Hélène Laverdière.

"Certainly, these are not the results we were hoping for, but we really led a great campaign," Duceppe told a crowd of supporters as they chanted "'Duceppe."

The party fell short of the 12 seats needed for official party status in the House of Commons. That means it will have next to no resources and few questions during Question Period.

The results were a blow to the Bloc, which saw the Liberals benefit from the collapse of the NDP in Quebec. Ridings which have been sovereignist bastions, on Montreal's South Shore for example, elected Liberal MPs.

It's also a blow to the sovereignist movement that Quebecers turned to federalist parties in two consecutive federal elections when they wanted to show their displeasure within the governing Conservatives.

In his concession speech, Duceppe thanked Quebecers who had welcomed him in towns and villages throughout the campaign.

"You are the Quebec that I love," he said.

The Bloc Québécois election headquarters were cramped; a small nightclub on Papineau Street in Duceppe's riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, apparently reserved by staff at the beginning of the campaign, when Bloc prospects seemed limited.

Gilles Duceppe was hoping to win back his seat – beaten by Hélène Laverdière in 2011 by just over 5000 votes.

In the last election, the Bloc was reduced to just four seats:

  • André Bellavance in Richmond-Arthabaska
  • Jean-François Fortin in Haute-Gaspésie-La Mitis-Matane-Matapédia
  • Maria Mourani in Ahuntsic
  • Louis Plamondon in Bas-Richelieu-Nicolet-Bécancour

After the election, it gained one MP (Claude Patry of Jonquière-Alma) who crossed the floor from the NDP. Patry decided not to run for re-election this election.

But that was the only gain. The Bloc lost most of the rest of its caucus: Mourani was kicked out for opposing the PQ's charter proposal in 2013. Then, after Mario Beaulieu was elected leader, Bellavance and Fortin also left the caucus.

Duceppe has scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

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