Québec solidaire will have a twelfth deputy: the lawyer Guillaume Cliche-Rivard wins his bet and brings down the strong Liberal castle of Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne.
Mr. Cliche-Rivard will be the next MP for the riding, according to Radio-Canada and TVA. As these lines were written, he had nearly 45% of the vote, compared to 28% for his Liberal opponent. He will succeed the former leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade, who resigned in November 2022.
From 8 p.m., cries of joy and applause were heard at the solidarity rally while the first results already suggested a victory for the lawyer specializing in immigration.
“With the first results that we are seeing, it smells good,” rejoiced the activist, Alex Chartier. “Guillaume Cliche-Rivard would be such a good MP. As things stand, we need someone who knows the immigration file well,” added supporter Gilles Sabourin.
Prime Minister François Legault congratulated Guillaume Cliche-Savard on Twitter, also highlighting the involvement of CAQ candidate Victor Pelletier.
For the Liberal Party, it’s a shock. The reds had won all the elections in this riding since its creation in 1994. Despite the PLQ’s electoral thaw in 2022, former leader Dominique Anglade had retained it with a comfortable lead of 2,736 votes against Québec solidaire, but his resignation provoked a rematch between the two political parties.
Mr. Cliche-Rivard took advantage of this breach to defeat his Liberal opponent Christopher Baenninger, even though the latter could count on a fairly solid Anglophone base: 32.3% of voters in the Montreal riding say they speak English, compared to 13% in Quebec. For the PLQ, the disaffection of Francophones is flagrant.
Former minister and Liberal MP Gaétan Barrette called the situation “a bitter failure”. “It’s going to hurt the Liberal Party,” he said on TVA as he commented on election night.
Interim Liberal Party Leader Marc Tanguay congratulated Mr. Cliche-Rivard, then extolled the “Liberal Party values”, the “relevance” of which he said was confirmed with the election results, despite the crushing defeat. . “Our DNA won’t change,” he said. However, he acknowledges that a way will have to be found to “embody them” and “translate them into concrete proposals” for citizens. “This work will continue at the PLQ,” he said at a press briefing.
For Québec solidaire, this is a significant gain. The party thus adds a twelfth deputy to its team of elected officials. QS had done all it could to dislodge the Liberals. Parliamentary Leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois made multiple appearances there. The candidate Guillaume Cliche-Rivard had a run-in machine since he had presented himself against the ex-chief Dominique Anglade.
A resident of the riding of Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne for seven years, Guillaume Cliche-Rivard is a lawyer and has been defending the rights of immigrants with precarious status for ten years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and international law, a master’s degree in international development and a bachelor’s degree in law. He is also a legal adviser for Amnesty International and a consultant for the Office for the Integration of Newcomers in Montreal.
At the time these lines were written, the Parti Québécois was also creating a surprise by slipping into third place, behind the Coalition avenir Québec. François Legault’s party is in sharp decline in this Montreal riding. It collected 17% of voting intentions in 2022, and is now stagnating at nearly 10%.