Tom Mulcair became the NDP’s only Quebec MP when he won this Montreal riding in a 2007 byelection, the second person in party history to win a seat in the province. The victory was also a harbinger for the NDP’s success in Quebec, culminating in the 2011 “Orange Wave” that catapulted the party to official Opposition status. Mulcair was elected leader of the NDP in 2012 and the party entered the 2015 campaign period atop the polls, but fell to third place in that election. Although the party lost most of its Quebec caucus in 2015, Mulcair held Outremont, only to resign in 2018. The Liberals retook the seat in a byelection last February — a symbolic defeat for the NDP that reflected the party’s declining fortunes in the province. The Liberals are now looking to turn Outremont back into a party stronghold, as it was for most of the 20th century.
Population: 102,088 (2016 census)
Community Interviews with Moose FM
Major communities: The Montreal borough of Outremont
Incumbent: Rachel Bendayan, Liberal.
Main challengers: Law school student Jasmine Louras for the Conservatives; community group director Andrea Clarke for the NDP; communications specialist Celia Grimard for the Bloc Quebecois; environmentalist Daniel Green for the Green party.
Election history: Before the NDP’s 2007 byelection victory, Outremont had been solidly Liberal except for the 1988 election, when it went to the Progressive Conservatives. Mulcair held the riding in 2008, 2011 and 2015 before resigning in 2018, triggering a byelection that Bendayan won in 2019.
Fun fact: About 20 per cent of the Outremont borough’s population is Jewish, and many are part of the ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community. Seeing Hasidic Jews in their traditional dress is commonplace in Outremont, which is home to one of the few such communities in the country.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2019.
The Canadian Press