No seats for Conservative Party of Quebec despite strong uptick in vote share
Party is here to stay and so is he, leader Éric Duhaime says
The Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) failed to elect any candidates to the National Assembly Monday but its leader, Éric Duhaime, appeared cheerful and determined as he spoke to supporters in the Quebec City region.
The party managed to increase its vote share from 1.4 per cent in 2018 to a projected 12.9per cent, putting it within two percentage points of the Official Opposition Liberals.
"This is a guy smiling here," he said from a hotel in Lac-Delage, Que., a small municipality just outside Quebec City.
"We're by far [the party] that has experienced the strongest growth," he said. "We're going to have to build on that momentum."
The PCQ did very well in the provincial capital and the Chaudière-Appalaches region, coming in second in 15 of the 17 ridings that make up that area.
The races were especially close in the Beauce-Nord and Beauce-Sud ridings, where the Coalition Avenir Québec edged out the PCQ by just 202 votes and 425 votes, respectively.
Here to stay but no voice in the legislature
By failing to elect any candidate, the party lost the only seat it had. In June 2021, outgoing MNA for Iberville, Claire Samson, crossed the floor and joined the PCQ after she was kicked out of the CAQ caucus.
The last time a conservative MNA was elected in the province was 1935, and that was just before the party was dissolved in 1936 to become part of the Union Nationale.
During his speech, Duhaime said the PCQ was a victim of what he called a "democratic distortion."
He noted that although the party received close to the same share of the popular vote as the Liberals, it won no seats — while the PLQ won 23.
But Duhaime, who lost the Chauveau riding to incumbent CAQ MNA Sylvain Lévesque by more than 4,300 votes, promised the PCQ was here to stay.
He said the campaign went even better than he had expected — he took part in the leaders' debates and managed to bring new ideas to the public sphere, such as the privatization of health care and the responsible exploitation of hydrocarbons.
"We've brought together more than 12,000 people during this campaign," he said to a cheering crowd.
He told his supporters that the party would have more funding, more volunteers and more resources by the time the next election comes.
However, the PCQ does not qualify for official party status as is currently defined by the National Assembly — 12 seats or 20 per cent of the popular vote.
"We'll knock on even more doors, we'll sow even more hope," he said. "Now it's time to consolidate."
With files from Jennifer Yoon
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