Canadian Politics from Canada's Centre

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Surprises in Quebec's Election Results, re: CPC

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10 probable seats for the CPC, with 8 confirmed. That's the least of the surprises. There's much more, and the portrait painted by the election's results in Quebec is positively shocking. My numbers are from the CBC. Though I don't trust them for insight, commentary, or even news reporting, because of their shabby style and frequent slants, the numbers can't be played with (that I know of).
  • From a very French-Canadian riding (as the mention of the 1800 Quebecois rebels, les Patriotes) indicates, comes this exceptionnally strong showing for the CPC:
  • DISTRICT: Verchères-Les Patriotes
    Candidate Party Vote Count Vote Share Elected
    Luc Malo BQ 30085 57.37% X
    Jean-Félix Racicot CON 11438 21.81%
    Alanna Woods LIB 4590 8.75%
    Simon Vallée NDP 4278 8.16%
    Carl Danis GRN 2045 3.9%
    January 24, 1:24:13 AM EST 197 of 198 polls reporting
  • Many rural, very French-Canadian ridings indicated similar results.

  • The city of Quebec itself had another impressive showing by the CPC, polling ahead of the Liberals!
  • DISTRICT: Québec
    Candidate Party Vote Count Vote Share Elected
    Christiane Gagnon BQ 20805 41.57% X
    Frédérik Boisvert CON 14842 29.66%
    Caroline Drolet LIB 5743 11.48%
    Michaël Lessard NDP 4634 9.26%
    Yonnel Bonaventure GRN 2372 4.74%
    Dan Aubut IND 812 1.62%
    Alexandre Raymond-Labrie PCP 512 1.02%
    Francis Bedard LTN 325 0.65%
    January 24, 1:57:23 AM EST 237 of 237 polls reporting

  • Less surprising to me was Meili Faille of the Bloc beating Mr. Marc "My-feet-taste-great" Garneau, the Liberal astronaut. Responding to Garneau's comments, Gilles Duceppe aptly and wittily characterized the man as being "dans la lune", which translates approximately to "off in a dreamworld". As I posted earlier in my debate commentary, Duceppe either has someone writing him great one-liners, or else he's a very witty person when it comes to off the cuff comments.
Duceppe topped off at 51 seats, 3 less than last time, and 41%; nowhere near foolish analyses placing him as a potential leader of the official opposition, and certainly not even close to his own ridiculous comment of aiming for 50% support.

Overall though, the greatest surprise is that overall, the Conservatives came in with 24% and change of the Quebec vote (906 K); the Liberals polled ~20% (761K). However, because the Liberal support is more consolidated and the rural Bloquiste vote didn't swing sufficiently to Harper et al., the CPC came out with a rather small number of seats (10), as mentioned above. The CPC are Quebeckers' #2, when early in the campaign, a La Presse humourist caricatured Harper's 5% as the level of his support in Quebec, (it's the level to which he wants to cut the GSTax, from 7%).

Why?
The influential French-language daily La Presse came out and supported the CPC officially, and had some unofficially pro-Harper material prior to that. I must credit them for pointing out that Harper was leading on policy around Christmastime, which led to my own analysis calling Harper as leading, period. Harper earlier promised to deal with the fiscal imbalance, which was HUGE to my fellow Quebeckers and I who see Ottawa surpluses as being accumulated on our ( and other Canadians') backs. This ultimately meant more than his stance on social issues to many people. Another key factor was that Canadian Quebeckers have realized most political power in Canada rests in government, not the opposition: the Bloc is a relatively inferior vote because it can't be in power.

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