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2003 Québec Election Special:

Twenty-Two Ridings to Watch
Institute Bulletin No.70 14.April.2003

Note: Bracketed Party ID next to riding name indicates current representation.

Cremazie(PQ): Due to redistricting Liberal Michele Lanquin-Ethier who represents the old Bourassa riding could carry this one.

Mercier(L): The Liberals won this 25-year PQ stronghold in a by-election due to vote splitting with the UFP. Liberal Nathalie Rochefort will be hard-pressed to defends her 34.6% win, but the prescence of strong UFP candidate Amir Khadir may also make it difficult for the PQ to regain the seat even with star candidate Daniel Turp. 

Rosemont(PQ): Minister Rita Dionne-Marsolais has to defend her 2,668 vote win in the last election in a riding that has some 10,000 new voters from the old Viau riding who are traditionally Liberal. It does seem however that the Liberal vote may be compromised by the presence of strong ADQ candidate Denise Larouche who is the Municipal Borough President while the Liberal candidate is newcomer Marilyn Thomas.

Bourget(PQ): Strong race between Culture Minister Diane Lemieux and ADQ star Pierre Bourque. May allow Liberal Claude Paquette to come through the middle.

Mille-Iles(PQ): This Laval riding was won by just 865 votes by Lyse Leduc who is not running this time. Good chance for Liberal Maurice Clermont, a former municipal councillor, to take this one.

Vimont(ADQ): Won by the ADQ by 5,000 votes in last June's by-election. If they are to have a strong showing tonight they have to hold this one.

Fabre(PQ):  Minister Joseph Facal is not running this time. 1998 saw a 2,352 vote win for the PQ. Two strong star candidates make this an interesting one to watch. Ex-deputy minister and muncipal councillor Michelle Courchesne for the Liberals and the excutive director of the Consumers' Union, Nathalie Saint-Pierre for the PQ.

Mirabel: This is a new riding and normally would be tailor-made for the incumbent party. But the ADQ are benefitting from the candidacy of Hubert Meilleur, Mayor of Mirabel, who is running under their banner.

Vanier(PQ): This Quebec City riding was represented by Diane Barbeau who is not running in this election. Her margin of victory last time out was only 2,477 votes and the Liberals have a popular candidate in lawyer Marc Bellemare, well known for his fights against the S.A.A.Q.

Charlesbourhg(PQ):Popular labor Minister Jean Rochon, who is also not running this time, won by only 33 votes in 1998. The Liberals hope for a breakthrough after a divisive PQ nomination fight to name Rochon's successor.

Jean-Talon(L): Margaret Delisle won this Quebec City riding by only 156 votes. Th addition of 7,000 electors from the Université Laval area due to redistricting, will make it tough for the Liberals to keep this riding which they have held since 1966.

Taschereau(PQ): Tough three way race between Minister Agnes Maltais, former Liberal MNA Jean-Guy Lemieux now running for the ADQ, and Liberal Michel Beaudoin.

Louis-Hebert(PQ): Arguably the most interesting three way race in the election. Businessman Sam Hadad for the Liberals, Line-Sylvie Perron for mer Chief of Staff to Premier René-Levesque for the PQ, and Prof.Guy Laforet President of the ADQ.

Jonquiere(L): Liberal Francoise Gauthier won Premier Bouchard's old seat in the middle of the PQ heartland in a by-election in 2001. This is an important one to watch if we are to see a Liberal majority.

Laviolette(L): Another PQ fortress since 1976 that fell in the October 2001 by-elections. Julie Boulet will be defending against PQ star Patrick Lahaie. Another important riding for the Liberals to confirm.

René-Levesque(ADQ): This riding, previously called Saquenay, was one of the first seven to vote PQ in 1970. It went  to Francois Corriveau, the second ADQ deputy elected, in a by-election. If the PQ have strength Province-wide it should be exhibited here where the standard bearer is popular trade unionist Marjolain Dufour.

Bonaventure(L): The battle of the Mayors. Liberal Nathalie Normandeau, former Mayor of Maria, won by only 160 votes, and faces Marc Tetrault of the PQ, who is Mayor of Carleton-Saint-Omer.

Saint-Jean(PQ): A bellweather riding having voted for the winner since 1939. Roger Paquin for the PQ against Jean-Pierre Paquin, a businessman, running for the Liberals.

Joliette(ADQ):  Elected in last June`s by-election, Sylvie L'Esperance may have trouble holding on in Guy Chevrette's old fortress against PQ candidate Jonathan Valois, ex-president of the Pequistes Jeunesses.

Beauce-Nord(L): Traditionally Liberal seat, the majority last time out was only 2,000 votes. The race is complicated this time by the strong candidacy of Saint-Jules Mayor Javier Grondin for the ADQ who is drawing much traditional Liberal support. The PQ may benefit.

Kamouraska-Témiscouta(L): Tough race won by the Liberals last time by only 110 votes. Liberal Claude Béchand is facing Pequiste Harold Lebel, former advisor to Premier Landry, and ADQ candidate Pierre Levesque who hopes to profit from the regional popularity of Mario Dumont.

Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscaminque(PQ):Fratricidal race between Minister Remy Trudel and former Bloc MP Pierre Brien for the ADQ. The PQ machine is staying loyal to Mr. Trudel and Liberal Daniel Bernard hopes to slip through the middle.


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