Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Quebec Voted 2012

First off, like everyone else I want to give my condolences to the families of the two victims of the shooting last night, especially the families of the individual that was killed, which occurred during Pauline Marois' victory speech, and I had the unfortunate chance to stay up and watch the news during that time. I'm not a fan of Marois in any respect, but when she was forced off stage last night by her Surête du Québec bodyguards, I was genuinely worried that her life, and the lives of everyone else at the Métropolis, were in danger. Sadly it did indeed turn out that at least one persona was killed, and I'm still shocked such a tragedy could occur here in Canada in the modern era.

But there was another major news story last night - that of Pauline Marois' barely-got-by government. The Parti Québécois eeked out the slimmest of minorities with the barest of popular vote advantages, while the Parti libéral showed it still had strength, and the Coalition avenir showed it still had a ways to go.

You can go through all the regions by scrolling down. 

Here's a quick summary of the election results by region, starting with Montréal:

Montréal was the biggest let-down for the Parti Québécois last night, and probably where they lost any chance at a majority government. They were unable to crack the nut in Central Montréal, failed to keep the Liberals out of Eastern Montréal, and only managed to win two seats in the ripe-for-the-taking City of Laval. But this meant the Liberals kept almost all of their incumbents in the region, except for Sainte-Rose and Laval-des-Rapides. Give that fact that they dropped nearly 10% in the region and over 10% in the province overall, that is definitely not too shabby.

But the péquistes can't blame themselves solely - the CAQ failed to keep up its vote in the city as well. I had averaged the CAQ's vote to come out around 23-24%, but they instead dropped down to 17%; that means less split-ridings for the péquistes to take advantage of, and indeed they could swipe at the CAQ for being a spoiler vote in close ridings like Verdun, Saint-Henri--Sainte-Anne, Milles-Îles, Fabre, and Vimont. This being said, the CAQ has laid some groundwork for themselves in Laval and other suburban-ish ridings, plus came in second in every West Island or Anglophone riding.

The Lanaudière-Laurentides region - essentially, the area north of Montréal and stretching slightly over towards Outaouais - maintained its péquiste flavour, instead of like 2007, when it jumped heavily towards the then-rising Action démocratique. This time around they kept almost all their ridings except for four - Saint-Jérôme, where CAQ star candidate Jacques Duchesneau won; L'Assomption, where CAQ leader François Legault ran; Blainville, where péquiste-turned-caquiste Daniel Ratthé kept his incumbency; and Groulx, where the CAQ won a close riding. Surprisingly, Benoit Charette, another turncoat, failed to win in Deux-Montagnes versus the péquistes.

Unfortunately for the CAQ, and vice versa for the péquistes, all those ridings were close, even Legault's. It speaks a lot to the strength the CAQ could have in this area, but also the latent leanings these ridings have towards the péquistes. The Liberals fell flat, including in Argenteuil.

The area south of Montréal, Montégérie, saw the Liberals do slightly better than I expected, winning six seats overall (I had them pegged between two to seven seats), but this isn't that surprising. While the CAQ did beat them out in the popular vote, the Liberals maintained good vote shares in ridings like Huntingdon, Châteauguay, and Soulanges, which I expected to be tough fights, and actually were in some cases. Yet the Liberals prevailed, and that's good.

While the péquistes did dominate, the CAQ made some good inroads in most ridings, building up their base, while the Liberals showed they can retain incumbents when they need to. I expect that this will continue to be a fairly close region in the future, though its clear here, as it is almost everywhere else, that the Liberals are going to be in danger eventually.

As my projection had shown, the regions of Centre-du-Québec and Estrie (Eastern Townships) were a three-way race (my projection showed the popular vote at 30% PQ, 29% CAQ, and 28% PLQ, with 5 CAQ seats, 4 PQ, and 2 Liberals). Most of these ridings were close, with two exceptions from the CAQ, Granby and Arthabaska. The Liberals surprised many though by retaining many of their Eastern Township incumbents.... except for Sherbrooke, where their leader Jean Charest went down to defeat. Usually that doesn't happen to him, and while I wasn't necessarily a fan, he did have an amazing 28-year career serving the people of Québec and Canada.

Once again, the CAQ did well to build up its base in this region, coming in close in several ridings that I thought they'd win, like Johnson and Brome--Mississquoi. The péquistes did win Saint-François and Sherbooke, but failed to gain anywhere else. Option nationale Jean-Martin Aussant, as I expected, went down to defeat in Nicolet-Bécancour to the CAQ candidate.

Chaudière-Appalaches and the Bas-Saint-Laurent regions were the biggest disappointments for the CAQ last night, where I projected them to win up to 8 seats, with the Liberals at most competitive in 2 seats. But it wasn't mean to be, it seems, as the CAQ failed to live up to the hype that the ADQ had in 2007, where they won most of the ridings. For example, low-hanging fruit such as Beauce-Sud, Bellechasse, Lotbinière--Frontenac, and Rivière-de-Loup--Témiscouata (where former ADQ leader Mario Dumont is from and represented) stayed well within the Liberal column. I'm not sure why this is - maybe the CAQ aren't as appealing to those regional conservatives as expected - but it definitely left a dent in the CAQ machine, and my projection. They did however keep their two incumbents, and win Lévis from the Liberals.

The péquistes kept their ridings in Gaspé, while the Liberals did not. They lost both the riding of Gaspé, plus Bonaventure (which they won last time in a by-election) and Îles-de-la-Madeleine. But the three losses were offset by other retained ridings in the region, so maybe it evens out.


The Capitale-Nationale region - aka Québec City - went as I expected, with the CAQ winning quite a few ridings, the Liberals retaining second, and the péquistes keeping the two ridings it had before (Charlevoix--Côte-de-Beaupré, which is Premier-designate Marois' riding, and Taschereau).

There isn't much to say, except that there were some very close races, such as Jean-Lesage, Vanier--Les-Rivières, and Charlesbourg.


The Mauricie region was very close last night, with all three parties having a chance at winning most of the ridings, which I had mostly expected, though the CAQ outperformed my expectations. Some of the amazing close ridings were Maskinongé, Trois-Rivières, and Champlain.

Again, there isn't much to say; this region was expected to be close, and it was. I'm just surprised that the Liberals did as well as they managed here, keeping all incumbents.

The Nord-du-Québec region was again, not a surprise - complete péquiste lock. The Liberals managed to lose their only incumbent up there in Dubuc, though they posted good results in Ungava. The CAQ came in second in the Jonquière and Chicoutimi ridings, but a distant, distant second.

The westernmost regions of Québec saw some change, with two ridings - Rouyn-Noranda--Témiscamingue and Abitibi-Est - switching from PLQ to PQ. But otherwise it was a fairly boring area, with no surprise upsets in Hull or Papineau, though those races were fairly close. The Liberals maintain a lock over most of this region, and the CAQ barely grew here.

And thats all for results. What are your opinions on it?

Just for reference, my projections didn't do too badly - including ranges, I got 109 of 125 ridings correct. I consider that a success, and the straight projection, which showed a bare PQ majority of 65 seats to 31 Liberals, 27 CAQ, and 2 Québec solidaire, was due to the fact that the polls underestimated Liberal support by about 3-4%. Within the margin of error, but boy am I glad that I had those ranges. I'll go over it more detail later.

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