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Four surprises, shifts and shutouts from Quebec's election

As the Parti Québécois grapples with their overwhelming loss against the Quebec Liberals in Monday's election, they'll no doubt turn to the election results for some answers. Where did it all go wrong? Here are four surprising results.

The PQ's biggest gains

Was it all bad news for the Parti Quebecois? In a word: yes. 

Among the PQ’s victories, only one riding saw any growth: Matane-Matapedia increased its share of votes by just 2.2 percentage points. The party’s biggest gain overall was in Nicolet-Bécancour, where the PQ rose from a 18.5 per cent share in 2012 to 22.3 per cent share this year. But the party was still a distant third in the riding, losing to the CAQ.
The PQ's share of the vote went down in all other ridings — even the ones they won.

Swing ridings

The largest swing in the province happened in Roberval, a northern riding that voted for the Parti Quebecois in every election since 2007. 

The X factor? This is Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard's riding. With Mr. Couillard, the Liberals nearly doubled the number of votes and increased their percentage share by 26.7 points for a powerful 55.1 per cent finish.

The closest race

The Liberals were just 91 votes shy of a seat in the riding of Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques. The riding — once a PQ stronghold — was won by Quebec Solidaire’s Manon Massé.

On a per-cent basis, the CAQ riding of Borduas was the closest, with second-place Parti Quebecois finishing just 0.2 per cent away from holding the seat.

The Liberals' biggest win

The Liberals secured more than 80 per cent of the popular vote in six ridings, including an overwhelming 92 per cent showing in the riding of D’arcy-McGee. Candidate David Birnbaum was tapped to replace longtime Liberal representative Lawrence Bergman, who is leaving provincial politics this year after two decades in office.
Graphics by Trish McAlaster/The Globe and Mail

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