Paul St-Pierre Plamondon elected as new Parti Quebecois leader

Paul Saint Pierre-Plamondon (La Presse)

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon was elected leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ) on Friday night after the most unusual leadership race since the party's founding in 1968.

He became the 10th leader in the history of the PQ by beating his three adversaries, historian Frédéric Bastien, comedian Guy Nantel and Jonquiere MNA Sylvain Gaudreault, with 56.2 per cent of the vote in the third ballot.

Just over 35,000 members and supporters were eligible to vote. The election took place at the party's office in Montreal.

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The leadership position had been vacant since Jean-François Lisee resigned on the evening of the historic PQ defeat in Quebec’s general elections in October 2018. The party then went from official opposition status to third party in the National Assembly, with ten deputies. The MNA for Matane, Pascal Bérubé, has filled in as interim leader since then.

The party has since reorganized and refocused on a resolutely pro-independence message.

Launched in March, this leadership contest was the longest and certainly the most unusual in the history of the PQ. It had to be suspended during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the ban on travel and gatherings.

Candidates took part in three debates this fall, which were webcast from a Granby studio with no activists in the room.

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