But first, I want to run through five trends and facts that I think are going to play into tonight's results.
1. Things Won't Change in Montreal.
Aside from possible slip-ups for the PQ in Crémazie to the Liberals (less likely) and Saint-Marie--Saint-Jacques to Québec solidaire (more likely), Montreal is going to be very boring. I don't see any of the Liberal ridings in danger (yes, their is a QS threat in Laurier--Dorion my colleague has pointed out, but I just don't see it falling), and same goes for those usually solid péquiste ridings on Montreal's east side.
2. Things Are Going to Change Outside of Montreal.
The big battles in tonight will be in the so-called Montreal couro
nne, the halo of ridings surrounding the city, with Laval thrown in for good measure. The Liberals don't have a shot in most of them - certain ridings such as La Prairie and Montarville are good targets, as are the two Laval ridings they don't currently hold, but other ridings are farther down the list - so its going to mostly be a CAQ/PQ fight. The question here is whether or not anti-péquiste voters will move to the PLQ, or whether the late mini-surge for the CAQ as of late has been them returning to the fold because they know the Liberals won't win in their area.
3. You have a tell.
If you pay attention tonight, you will very easily tell how things are going to go by paying attention to the "centre" of the Québec electoral map. Ridings such as Maskinongé, Arthabaska, Saint-François - they and their closest friends will be the ones to show the trend first. Its a francophone area but with a lot of federalist sympathies, and the regions were practically split three ways last election. Pay attention there, and if you start seeing Liberals running up numbers in those ridings, you can go to bed because you already know the result.
4. PKP Factor.
One of the most interesting ridings to watch tonight will be Saint-Jérôme, north of Montréal, where péquiste star candidate and Berlusconi-wannabe Pierre-Karl Péladeau is running. While he is very likely going to win, I wouldn't say its a 100% sure bet. There is also the question of what effect PKP will have on the rest of the election - he may have some benefits on the PQ tally in Québec City and area, as he is the kind of person to appeal to the soft conservative nationalists there, and he has had involvement with their lauded arena.
5. Follow the leaders.
Amusingly, every single party leader tonight is running in a seat that they may lose. Philippe Couillard is running in Roberval, currently held by the PQ and far from a sure bet; François Legault's L'Assomption riding is being targeted by the péquistes and he is in big trouble of losing in tonight; QS leader Françoise David is probably safe, but her co-leader Andrés Fontecilla, running in Laurier--Dorion, will have a tough run; and Pauline Marois' Charlevoix riding is hardly safe, though she has the advantage. It is theoretically possible to have every leader seatless by the end of the night, which would be hilarious.
Anyways, on to the fun part! Below is are my projections - the basic summary, then riding level, then a fun map. Have a look through if you're curious!
Otherwise, I will be trolling Twitter tonight as the results roll in. Good luck to everyone in Quebec who campaigned - lets hope Marois and her politics of division are driven right out of the National Assembly!
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