CAQ clinches upset in Longueuil's Marie-Victorin riding, a PQ stronghold

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) has clinched the hotly contested byelection in the provincial riding of Marie-Victorin on the South Shore of Montreal.

The riding encompasses the Vieux-Longueuil borough of the City of Longueuil. The seat at the National Assembly has been vacant since the departure of independent MNA Catherine Fournier.

The riding, in a politically sensitive area that often sees tight elections, could foreshadow the upcoming provincial election.

The candidate of Francois Legault's CAQ party, Shirley Dorismond, won with almost 35 per cent of the vote or 5,697 ballots, followed by her Parti Québécois (PQ) opponent, Pierre Nantel, with just over 30 per cent and 4,902 votes.

He was followed by Quebec Solidaire's Shophika Vaithyanathasarma in a distant third with 14.32 per cent.

The atmosphere was feverish at the Milan pizzeria restaurant in Longueuil, where the CAQ had established its headquarters for election night.

Ce soir, les électeurs de Marie-Victorin ont décidé de mettre le passé derrière eux. Ils ont décidé de regarder vers l’avenir! Ils ont décidé d’envoyer la CAQ et @SDorismondCAQ à l’Assemblée nationale. ⁰ ⁰Pour me lire�� https://t.co/rFURXqlWYx pic.twitter.com/V00iPETBLd

— François Legault (@francoislegault) April 12, 2022

The riding, just over 14 square kilometres, has been a PQ stronghold since its inception in 1980. The Liberals have only managed to take it once, in 1984, in a byelection that lasted one year.

Former representative Fournier was first elected under the PQ banner before becoming an independent MNA. She then gave up her seat to run successfully for mayor of Longueuil last fall.

Elections Quebec has authorized twelve candidates for the byelection.

In its first test since Éric Duhaime took its helm, the Quebec Conservative Party came in fourth, with its candidate Anne Casabonne winning 10.4 per cent of the vote.

Meanwhile, Émilie Nollet of the Quebec Liberals collected 1,130 votes or 6.93 per cent and Martine Ouellet, head of the new party Climat Québec, which she just founded, only obtained a meager 1.9 per cent of the vote, or 310 ballots.

The Parti pour l'indépendance du Québec, the Parti vert du Québec, the Union nationale, the Parti accès propriété et équité and the Équipe autonomiste also ran candidates; there was one independent candidate.

A total of 45,558 electors had the right to vote in this byelection.

According to Statistics Canada, 83.4 per cent of the riding's population reports that French is the language most often spoken at home.

Visible minorities account for 19.5 per cent of Marie-Victorin's population, of which 43.8 per cent are Black, 16.2 per cent are Latin American and 16 per cent are of Arab origin.

The average income in Marie-Victorin is lower than the Quebec standard.

The vote in Marie-Victorin is also now being seen, by some, as a plebiscite for Legault's government, as there are just under six months to go before the provincial election in Quebec.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 11, 2022, with reporting by CTV News.

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