Quebec election ushers in new political era with Coalition victory

Quebecers are waking up to a new political era this morning following a provincial election that swept the Liberals out of office and delivered a majority win for the Coalition Avenir Quebec.

The victory means a party other than the Liberals or the Parti Quebecois will govern the province for the first time in nearly half a century.

Leader Francois Legault led his team to victory following a 39-day campaign in which surveys suggested the party was locked in a dead heat with the Liberals in terms of popular support.

But the Coalition quickly surged ahead after the polls closed, eventually winning 74 of the province's 125 ridings as it fared well among the crucial francophone electorate.

The Liberals kept 32 seats but one of the biggest shocks of the night was the once-mighty Parti Quebecois losing its official party status.

In fact, the PQ finished with fewer seats than Quebec solidaire, failed to win on the island of Montreal and saw leader Jean-Francois Lisee lose his own seat before resigning.