Liberals Win Minority Government in Quebec

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

  • Jean Charest on the campaign trail

    Jean Charest on the campaign trail

Written by May Warren

The Liberal Party was returned to power in Quebec last night, just with a lot less support. Citizens of Quebec have elected their first minority government in 130 years, giving the Liberals 33 per cent of the popular vote. The 48 ridings the Liberals were able to win gave them enough to form the government but they lost 26 seats in the process.

Liberal leader and Quebec Premier Jean Charest was able to hold onto his own seat in the Montreal riding of Sherbrooke. The recently formed Action Démocratique du Quebec gave the Liberals a run for their money, finishing second in most ridings and winning a total of 41 seats.

The dramatic surge in that party’s support, up from only five seats in the last election, is thought to be due to its popular leader Mario Dumont who wooed Quebecois voters with promises of tax cuts and child care credits.

The Parti-Quebecois saw a drop in support finishing third overall, and third in most ridings. The Québec Solidaire and the Green Party of Québec also saw increases of support, but failed to translate this into actual seats.

Commentators say Charest seemed stuck in second gear during the campaign, rehashing Liberals successes while ignoring things like conditions of the health care system in Quebec. The election saw a stunning electoral turnout, with more then 75 per cent of Québécois citizens turning up to cast their votes.

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