Liberal Rachel Bendayan wins Outremont in byelection

The Liberals have won the federal riding of Outremont in Montreal, one of three ridings where byelections took place Monday on a crucial day for Canada's major political parties.

Montreal riding was 1 of 3 races to watch in B.C., Ontario and Quebec

Liberal candidate Rachel Bendayan speaks at her election night party following her win in the federal byelection for the Outremont riding in Quebec, as Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Melanie Joly, right, looks on. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Liberal Rachel Bendayan has won the federal riding of Outremont in Quebec after taking 40 per cent of the vote with 95 per cent of polls reporting.

"I will honour your vote by working very hard," she said Monday night at Liberal party headquarters in Montreal's Outremont.

She stressed that the Liberals would continue to fight climate change and promote a national housing strategy.

Mélanie Joly, the minister of official languages and La Francophonie, said that despite losing to the NDP in 2015, Bendayan was always a strong candidate who continued working in the riding in the years since. 

"We hope this is the end of the Orange Wave in Quebec," Joly said Monday night.

The NDP, which had held the riding since 2007, trailed in second place with less than 30 per cent of the votes.

Outremont was one of three ridings where federal byelections took place Monday on a crucial day for Canada's major political parties. 

Voter turnout was low, as is typical for a byelection. Less than 20 per cent of the 70,400 registered voters in Outremont cast a ballot. 

Political insiders had bet that the Liberals would retake the riding  — a welcome boost for the governing party's morale in the midst of the SNC-Lavalin controversy. 

"Tonight, the people of Outremont and thousands of Canadians voting in these byelections have offered a strong vote of confidence in Justin Trudeau's positive plan to strengthen the middle class," said Suzanne Cowan, president of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Analysts said the Outremont race was a crucial test for the NDP.

The riding had been a Liberal stronghold until Thomas Mulcair scored an upset in a 2007 byelection: the Liberals had lost the riding only once, to the Progressive Conservatives in 1988, since 1935.

The so-called Orange Wave followed in 2011 and boosted the NDP to Official Opposition status for the first time in its history.

While the party held onto just 16 Quebec seats in 2015, Quebec MPs still make up more than a third of the NDP caucus.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigns at a coffee shop in the Outremont riding with Liberal candidate Rachel Bendayan. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

These are the candidates who ran in Outremont and how much of the vote they took by the time 95 per cent of ballots had been counted:

  • 40 per cent: Rachel  Bendayan — Liberal Party of Canada. 
  • 29 per cent: Julia Sánchez — New Democratic Party.
  • 13 per cent: Daniel Green — Green Party of Canada.
  • 11 per cent: Michel Duchesne — Bloc Québécois.
  • 6 per cent: Jasmine Louras — Conservative Party of Canada.
  • 2 per cent: James Seale — People's Party of Canada.
  • 0.3 per cent: William Barrett — Independent.
Besides Outremont's race, two other byelections were held: one in the Ontario riding of York-Simcoe where Conservative candidate Scot Davidson claimed victory and a critical race in B.C.'s Burnaby South, where NDP leader Jagmeet Singh claimed victory.  

With files from Matt D'Amours, Canadian Press


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