Montreal

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe puts off decision about his future

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe says he'll be meeting with party members later this week to discuss his future, after failing to win back his own seat and lead his party back to official status.

Bloc more than doubled its seats, but fell short of official party status in House of Commons

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe will officially announce his resignation Thursday. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe says he'll be meeting with party members later this week to discuss his future, after failing to win back his own seat and lead his party back to official status.

Speaking at a news conference this afternoon in Montreal, Duceppe wouldn't say whether or not he planned to resign as head of the party.

He said the result doesn't mean Quebecers are no longer interested in sovereignty, even if the federalist Liberals won 40 seats in the province.

"I don't think there's a great deal of enthusiasm for federalism either," he told reporters. "I don't think Quebec is rethinking its place in Canada."

Duceppe said strategic voting was likely a factor in the Bloc's struggles, with Quebecers looking to oust Stephen Harper's Conservatives from power.

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

Duceppe didn't win back his riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie — once again losing to the NDP's Hélène Laverdière.

With only 10 seats, the Bloc doesn't have official party status.

That means it will have next to no resources and few opportunities to stand during question period.

Duceppe, an MP for 21 years and leader of the Bloc for 14, resigned after the dire 2011 election results — when the party was reduced to just four seats from 47 at dissolution.

The party had further struggles in the period since, with two MPs defecting and new leader Mario Beaulieu failing to gain traction in the province.

The party enticed Duceppe back from retirement in June, just weeks before the Aug. 2 election call.

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