Conservatives more than double seat count in Quebec
12-seat final tally in Quebec a rare bright spot in a night of losses for Stephen Harper
While the Conservative Party dropped to official opposition status in Canada, it managed to more than double its seat count in Quebec, holding onto its base of five ridings and adding seven more, all at the expense of the NDP.
The first Conservative winner, announced soon after polls closed, was the party's star candidate, Gérard Deltell, in the riding of Louis–St-Laurent.
Deltell spoke late Monday evening, telling reporters he was disappointed with the Liberal Party's victory but pleased with the outcome in the Quebec City region.
"I'm a democratic guy. For sure I would have wished another situation — a Conservative government — but people decided something else...You can count on me to push our platform in the House of Commons," Deltell said.
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Deltell, a former television broadcaster and an MNA for seven years, announced in April that he was stepping down from the Coalition Avenir Québec to run for the Conservatives in the federal election.
The Conservatives had set their sights on taking the riding back from the NDP, which washed away parts of the Quebec City region – the province's only traditional Conservative stronghold – in the 2011 Orange Wave.
The Conservatives made gains at the NDP's expense in:
- Beauport-Côte-de-Beaupré-Île d'Orléans-Charlevoix
The party held onto all five ridings it already had coming into this election:
- Bellechasse-Les Etchemins-Lévis
Louis–St-Laurent - Conservative gain
This was one of the few urban Quebec ridings where Conservatives have been elected in recent history. But it also saw the Orange Wave wash away its incumbent in 2011.
Conservative Josée Verner represented the riding from 2006 to 2011, holding the portfolios for official languages, international cooperation and Canadian heritage at various points during her tenure.
She lost to the NDP's Alexandrine Latendresse, a student and former child actor, by 1,195 votes, who did not run in this election.
With the riding up for grabs, both the NDP and the Conservatives were running heavyweight candidates.
The NDP candidate, diplomat Daniel Caron, served as the Canadian ambassador to Ukraine.
Deltell was both a television personality and a Coalition Avenir Québec MNA in Quebec's National Assembly, stepping down to seek federal office.
NDP incumbent Jonathan Tremblay lost this hotly contested race to former Conservative MP Sylvie Boucher, who won it back by a margin of 3,459 votes.
The riding, formerly called Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, was swept in the Orange Wave last time around with the NDP eking out a win by about 1,000 votes.
But it had been solid Bloc territory in both 2006 and 2008 — both times with 49 per cent of the vote. The Bloc candidate this time, Sébastien Dufour, finished well behind, with less than 20 per cent of the vote.
Beauport—Limoilou - Conservative gain
Conservative candidate Alupa Clarke stole the seat away from the NDP Monday night in another tight race.
With all 222 polls counted, Clarke won by 2,600 votes, with just six votes separating the NDP incumbent in second place, Raymond Côté, and the Liberals' Antoine Bujold in third.
The NDP won over Beauport—Limoilou in 2011 with 46 per cent of the popular vote, burying the Conservatives in that election, who came in 10,000 votes behind. In 2006, this riding, which includes the eastern part of Quebec City, went to the Conservatives by a mere 900 votes. It was a tight race again in 2008, with the Conservatives taking the seat from the Bloc by 2,000 votes.
Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles - Conservative gain
This riding, which includes the northeast part of Quebec City, belonged to the Conservatives in 2006 and 2008. Before that, it was held by the Bloc Québécois.
The tide changed in 2011 — the BQ came in a distant third, and the NDP stole the seat away from the Conservatives, winning 45 per cent of the vote.
Now it's dark blue again. The Conservative candidate Pierre Paul-Hus won handily, by a margin of 10,927 votes. The Liberals trailed far behind in second place, and the NDP came in third.
Louis-Hébert - Liberal gain
For the first time since 1984, the riding of Louis-Hébert has gone to the Liberals.
Candidate Joël Lightbound was elected with a 4,678 vote lead over the Conservatives' Jean-Pierre Asselin.
Voters in the riding have kept swinging over the years. The riding, which includes the western part of Quebec City, has voted for three different parties in the last three elections.
In 2006, it came down to the wire for the Conservative Party, which took the riding from the Bloc by about only 200 votes.
In 2008, constituents went back to the Bloc Québécois. But three years later, in 2011, the NDP won by a comfortable margin of about 8,000 votes. This year, the NDP came in third, with just 20 per cent of the vote.
Quebec - Liberal gain
From orange to red: The riding of Quebec, which consists of the central part of Quebec City, was swept in the Orange Wave four years ago. It was a big win for the NDP. The party managed to take the riding away from the Bloc Québécois, which had been in power there since 1993.
Now it belongs to the Liberals. The race was close, with Liberal candidate Jean-Yves Duclos squeaking past the NDP's Annick Papillon by 1 075 votes when the final tally was in.
Disappointment as Liberal government declared
At La Cage Aux Sports pub, where Conservative supporters gathered Monday night after polls closed, there was no reaction from the crowd when various media outlets declared a Liberal government.
"We are very, very disappointed," said 17-year-old Roseanne Garneau. "It's very discouraging," she said.