Montreal

Eastern Townships turns the page on decades of Liberal rule

Traditionally Liberal strongholds in the Eastern Townships have fallen to the CAQ wave rolling across Quebec, with the exception of Sherbrooke, which has voted in a Québec Solidaire candidate.

Coalition Avenir Québec wins 5 of region's 6 ridings

Former Conservative MP and ex-mayor of Asbestos André Bachand learns of his victory for the CAQ in Richmond, a riding held by Liberal members of the Vallières family since 1981. (Radio-Canada)

A region dominated by the Quebec Liberal Party for three decades has turned its back on tradition, ushering in the Coalition Avenir Québec in five out of the region's six ridings.

Voters in Sherbrooke were the only ones to stray from the pack, electing Québec Solidaire candidate Christine Labrie.

Brome-Missisquoi has chosen the CAQ's Isabelle Charest, an Olympic speedskater, to replace Liberal veteran Pierre Paradis, who's held the riding since 1980

Paradis did not run in this election, after he was ousted from the Liberal caucus in 2017 following allegations of sexual misconduct. He was never charged.

Former Olympian speedskater-turned-CAQ candidate Isabelle Charest smiles at the results in Brome-Missisquoi. (Rebecca Martel/CBC)

The Liberals have also lost Richmond, a riding represented by a member of the Vallières family since 1981, where the CAQ's André Bachand has secured his seat.

Bachand was the Conservative MP for Arthabaska-Richmond riding from 1997 to 2004 and was also mayor of Asbestos.

The CAQ also pulled off the first non-Liberal win in Mégantic since 1976, with its candidate François Jacques, a funeral home owner and municipal councillor in Lac-Mégantic.

In Orford, where the Liberals had been hoping to replace longstanding MNA Pierre Reid with their new candidate Guy Madore, the CAQ's Gilles Bélanger won by nearly 4,000 votes. Bélanger is an engineer and former owner and president of the Owl's Head ski resort.

In Saint-François, the CAQ's Geneviève Hébert, a business owner, won by nearly the same margin over Liberal candidate Charles Poulin.

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