I love that title - "caquiste." It works, doesn't it?
So four independent MNAs have joined François Legault's Coaltion and have become its first sitting deputies before the merger deal with the ADQ is finalized.
The four MNAs are former pequistes Daniel Ratthé and Benoît Charette, and former adequistes Éric Caire and Marc Picard.
From my little list the other week, I was right about Ratthé and Charette, who I thought were very likely to shack up with Legault. I was also very sure that Picard would also join, and less sure about Caire, but he joined anyways.
So now the CAQ has actual faces within the National Assembly to fight for it. Should make things interesting, and assuming the ADQ deal goes through, that means Legault's party will have eight MNAs, more than enough to make it a small force to be reckoned with. Cool.
Moving on, Liberal MNA David Whissell resigned his seat of Argenteuil four days ago, which will trigger yet another provincial by-election. Argenteuil is an interesting riding as is not necessarily as Liberal as it seems, despite the fact that it has been Liberal since the 1920's. Whissell hung on during the 2007 adequiste wave, winning 37.6% to an adequiste's 29.7%, while winning by a much larger margin in 2008, 49.6% to a pequiste's 33.6%.
That makes it a safe seat, but not so safe that another party would be unable to take it from the Liberals on a drop. Indeed, if the most recent Léger poll were true, a caquiste candidate would win the riding handily, 40% compared to 25% for the Liberals.
Now that the CAQ has actual deputies, they will need an actual candidate for whenever this by-election is called. While they had a relatively OK excuse for not running a candidate in the Bonaventure by-election this month, Legault has zero reason to not run a candidate in Argenteuil. If he doesn't, then you know someone over there isn't as sure about their chances as they'd like us all to think.
It would also be important for the PQ to show off their strength - if they have any - in this by-election. In fact, if Marois lost the Argenteuil by-election, somewhere with a much better chance of winning than Bonaventure ever was, then I would say her chances of staying on are slim to none.