Spotlight on Quebec ridings: Sherbrooke

Last time around, the voters in Sherbrooke put their faith in a newcomer whose win surprised even the most savvy political pundits. While the riding's voters haven't been loyal to a particular party, they've kept MPs in office for multiple terms since the 1970s.

Can the country's youngest-ever MP fight off some heavyweight political competition?

Last time around, the voters in Sherbrooke put their faith in a newcomer whose win surprised even the most savvy political pundits. While the riding's voters haven't been loyal to a particular party, they've kept MPs in office for multiple terms since the 1970s.

This is the former riding of Jean Charest, who represented Sherbrooke for the Progressive Conservatives for 14 years. After a terrible electoral defeat for the PCs in 1993, Charest, one of only two elected party members, became the PC's interim leader and, eventually, official leader. 

He resigned in 1998 to mount a successful leadership bid for the Quebec Liberal Party and later became premier of Quebec. 

After Charest's departure from federal politics, the riding was snatched up by the Bloc Québécois. Serge Cardin was first elected in a byelection in 1998 by a slim, 220-vote margin. He would stay in office for five terms before the NDP's Orange Wave claimed Sherbrooke. 

The candidate who unseated the sitting Bloc incumbent was on no one's radar: 19-year-old university student Pierre-Luc Dusseault became the youngest MP ever elected to Canada's parliament. 

High-profile contenders

Dusseault is running for re-election in the riding, but he's facing some stiff competition. 

The Conservative Party nominated high-profile candidate Marc Dauphin — a decorated military surgeon who served several tours overseas and was chief physician for the armed forces at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu before his retirement in 2013.

Dauphin wrote a book about his experiences in the multinational hospital in Afghanistan which became the basis for a TV series, and he is well known for his role as a media spokesman for the Canadian Forces. 

The Liberals are also putting their faith in a recognizable name in the riding. Tom Allen was a municipal councillor for 16 years and has worked for three decades as a sports director, first at Champlain College and then at Bishop's University.

Bloc Québécois candidate Caroline Bouchard is a former journalist who worked in communications for Alcan in Paris. 

Riding History

  • Established in 1867, the riding has been represented by Liberal, Bloc, Progressive Conservative and NDP MPs.
  • The Bloc Québécois held the riding for more than a decade before being ousted by the NDP in 2011.

Riding snapshot

Population: 104,040 (2011 Census)

Mother tongue: French (90 per cent), English (2.7 per cent), non-official languages (7.3 per cent; largest linguistic groups are Farsi, Arabic and Spanish)

Average household income: $70,448 (2011 National Household Survey)

Results last election

NDP 22,344
Bloc Québécois 18,703
Liberals 4,953
Conservative 4,865
Green 890
Rhinoceros 224

Candidates 2015

See other key ridings


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