Liberals and Bloc Quebecois jump to early leads as Quebec results come in

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MONTREAL — The Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois are jockeying for the lead in Quebec, with each party having been declared the winner in 27 of the province’s 78 ridings almost two hours after polls closed.

Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet was projected to win his riding, as was Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and a handful of his cabinet ministers, including Marc Garneau and Melanie Joly.

Eight years after sweeping Quebec in the so-called “orange wave,” the NDP was elected or leading in just one riding in the province.

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In 2015, Trudeau’s Liberals sailed to their best showing in the province in decades as they won 40 of the province’s 78 ridings, but they appear set to lose some of their support this time.

The latest polls in the province showed the Liberals fighting to maintain a narrow lead against a resurgent Bloc, which has bounded back in the polls based on appeals to Quebec nationalism and the solid leadership of Yves-Francois Blanchet.

Several Conservative incumbents were elected or leading in and around the Quebec City area, which is the party’s traditional bastion of support in the province.

The Liberals held 40 seats at dissolution, while the NDP held 14, the Conservatives 11, and the Bloc 10. There was one Independent, and People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier, who was defeated Monday, held the seat of Beauce.

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

The Canadian Press

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