By the by-elections

18 Sep

For those of you who were keeping score, last night’s Quebec by-election results obviously provided just about the best possible outcome for the NDP and just about the worst for the Liberals.

And speaking of obviously, the Tories had a pretty good night, too – except for their continued electoral irrelevance in Montreal – and the Bloc had a pretty bad one (although they can still turn to one another and wistfully say “we’ll always have Saint-Hyacinthe”)

NDP candidate Thomas Mulcair’s victory in Outremont seemed to come largely by taking votes from the Bloc – not bad for an anglo running in a largely francophone riding (which happens to be right next door to Gilles Duceppe’s riding, it should be noted). The trend for the NDP in Quebec seems to be that once every 17 years, a star anglo candidate will take a francophone riding in a by-election. Keep your eyes open for any riding vacancies in 2024.

It’s worth remembering, though, that Phil Edmonston – the only other Quebec NDP MP in history – only sat in Parliament for three years before quitting politics. His seat was taken by the Bloc the first election after he left, and held by them ever since. Mulcair won’t have very long to consolidate his support before he faces the voters again in a general election.

The Liberals… well… they’re already beating themselves up enough about this…

Also worth noting: Last night was a huge tactical victory for Stephen Harper, who has been known to score a tactical victory or two. He decided to call three by-elections in Quebec only, when there are – in fact – four other vacant seats outside of Quebec, each of which the Liberals could have won.

If, instead of being shut out, last night saw the Liberals retain four seats, the headlines this morning would have been different, and the perception that Stéphane Dion screwed up would have been muted.

UPDATE: Andrew Coyne’s take is that the Bloc suffered a worse blow last night than did the Libs.

UPDATE # 2: Kady O’Malley offers advice to both the votelorn and the vote-happy.


3 Responses to “By the by-elections”


  1. Reasonably accommodating? « echenblog - September 26, 2007

    […] issue is not limited to provincial politics in Quebec. In the lead-up to last week’s by-elections, federal parties were falling all over each other to attack the Chief Electoral Officer’s […]

  2. Programming Note: Red Party Blues « echenblog - October 26, 2007

    […] Liberals are floundering in the polls, especially in Quebec, where last month’s by-election losses underlined their troubles in bold ink. They are far from unified: Witness Deputy Leader […]

  3. State of La Nation « echenblog - November 9, 2007

    […] month’s poll suggested that the September federal by-elections in Quebec were no fluke. It showed the Bloc Québecois and the Conservatives tied for the lead in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: