Li­be­rals sweep pro­vince, re­gion

Char­le­bois, Ni­chols do­mi­nate in Sou­langes and Vau­dreuil

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Eigh­teen months af­ter Que­bec vo­ters sent the Li­be­ral Party of Que­bec to the back of the Na­tio­nal As­sem­bly, all was for­gi­ven when the pro­vince re­soun­din­gly gave the party a mes­sage of confi­dence Mon­day.

The Li­be­rals will lead a ma­jo­ri­ty go­vern­ment in the Na­tio­nal As­sem­bly with 70 of 125 seats, while the Par­ti qué­bé­cois will form the Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion with just 30 seats. Fran­çois Le­gault’s Coa­li­tion ave­nir Qué­bec gai­ned ground du­ring the April 7 Ge­ne­ral Elec­tion, cap­tu­ring 22 elec­to­ral di­vi­sions, with Qué­bec so­li­daire al­so im­pro­ving its stan­ding when it won th­ree seats. Mon­day night al­so saw PQ leader Pau­line Ma­rois, who did not win her ri­ding, step down as leader of the party.

By the num­bers

Sou­langes in­cumbent Lu­cie Char­le­bois will head in­to her fifth term in the ri­ding af­ter win­ning 54.4 percent of the vote. Char­le­bois won by 7,929 votes.

She was trai­led by PQ can­di­date Ma­rieLouise Séguin, who took 31.62 percent of the vote.

Meanw­hile, Na­tio­nal As­sem­bly new­co­mer and MRC de Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes pre­fect Ma­rie-Claude Ni­chols, who was elec­ted mayor of Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Per­rot last year, will be­gin her inau­gu­ral term as the Vau­dreuil ri­ding MNA.

Ni­chols, who ran for the seat af­ter long­time in­cumbent Yvon Mar­coux de­ci­ded he would not seek re-elec­tion, won a de­ci­sive victory by cap­tu­ring 61.21-percent of the vote. She bes­ted PQ can­di­date Mar­cos Ar­cham­bault by 20,512 votes.

A uni­fying is­sue that see­med to bring people so­lid­ly to the Li­be­ral camp was the re­gion’s de­sire to see a hos­pi­tal built in Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes. Char­le­bois and Mar­coux had long cham­pio­ned the pro­ject which was shel­ved amid much cri­ti­cism by the Par­ti qué­bé­cois go­vern­ment. Vo­ter tur­nout was al­so high in both ri­dings. Al­most 75-percent of Sou­langes vo­ters went to one of 174 pol­ling sta­tions

Vote for change

Mon­day, while 77.97 percent vi­si­ted one of 186 Vau­dreuil pol­ling sta­tions.

And Li­be­ral Party in­cumbent Geof­frey Kel­ley won a land­slide victory in his Jacques-Car­tier ri­ding, cap­tu­ring 85.42-percent of the vote.

For Saint-La­zare re­sident Niels Kson­zek, Mon­day’s vote was a make-or­break mo­ment for Que­bec.

“If the Li­be­rals don’t win a ma­jo­ri­ty today, I don’t think we can re­co­ver from ano­ther PQ go­vern­ment,” Kson­zek, a third ge­ne­ra­tion Mon­trea­ler and ac­tive real es­tate agent, said.

“We’re the poo­rest pro­vince in Canada and eve­ry­day I see people lo­sing eve­ry­thing and lea­ving to go so­mew­here else.”

Though he didn’t know it at the time, Kson­zek, who tur­ned out to vote with his wife Car­la, and their th­ree young chil­dren, was right in wi­shing for a ma­jo­ri­ty Li­be­ral go­vern­ment.

“We need to get back to fo­cu­sing on the eco­no­my and other im­por­tant is­sues,” he opi­ned.

People were al­so ve­ry ac­tive on so­cial me­dia plat­forms all day Mon­day, sen­ding Fa­ce­book mes­sages, Twit­ter tweets and emails en­cou­ra­ging people to get out and vote.

PHO­TO KRIS­TI­NA ED­SON PHO­TO KRIS­TI­NA ED­SON

Vo­ters tur­ned out in high num­bers at a Sou­langes pol­ling sta­tion si­tua­ted at Fo­rest Hill Sr. school, in Saint-La­zare. The Saint-La­zare Com­mu­ni­ty Centre was al­so ac­tive Mon­day.

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