Liberals sweep province, region
Charlebois, Nichols dominate in Soulanges and Vaudreuil
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.
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.