Bloc Quebecois make gains in early election results, confirming party’s resurgence

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MONTREAL — Early election returns are indicating a Bloc Quebecois resurgence in Quebec, with the party leading in more than 30 ridings.

One hour after polls closed in the province, the party was elected or leading in 34 of the province’s 78 ridings, a significant leap from the 10 it won last election.

Widely considered moribund a little more than a year ago, the sovereigntist federal party and its members are hoping gains made tonight will eventually lead to a rekindling of a Quebec independence movement that has been on the decline for years.

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Party leader Yves-Francois Blanchet campaigned on a platform that affirmed Quebec nationhood but that downplayed independence from Canada.

Blanchet’s main pitch to Quebecers was asking them to send a strong contingent of Bloc members to Ottawa who would fight exclusively for Quebec’s interests among a sea of federally minded politicians with loyalties across the country.

The Bloc also positioned itself as the only party that would champion Quebec’s popular secularism law, which bans some public sector workers from wearing religious symbols on the job.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 21, 2019  

The Canadian Press

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