The vote is in: Jean-François Lisée is the new head of the PQ

Parti Quebecois elects Jean-François Lisée as new leader
WATCH ABOVE: It was a difficult campaign for Parti Quebecois candidates but the posturing, personal attacks and finger-pointing are all over as the PQ has elected Jean-François Lisée as its new leader. Raquel Fletcher reports.

Jean-François Lisée has been elected the new leader of the Parti Quebecois.

The party has been without a permanent leader since Pierre Karl Peladeau stepped down for family reasons in May.

The results came in just after 9:40 p.m. with Lisée taking the win with more than 10,000 votes than runner up Alexandre Cloutier.

With a participation rate of 75.09 per cent of just over 73,200 party members, this leadership election has had one of the highest voter turnouts in years.

As per the polls released before the election, Lisée and Cloutier were battling it out for first place with Ouellet and Plamondon trailing behind.

Future of the PQ

“Liberate us from the liberals,” Lisée said during his acceptance speech.

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With the leadership elections behind him, he turned his head to the provincial elections, particularly warning the current liberal government that he’s coming after them.

“As a leader I will make sure we have an open and fruitful dialogue on who we are and what we can build together,” he said.

Lisée also hinted at a possible referendum for Quebec sovereignty, but was adamant about not including it in the party’s election platform. He made several references to the Brexit vote held in the U.K. this summer as well.

He concluded his speech with a simple, yet powerful statement for the future of his party:

“We are on the road to victory.”

How does the PQ voting system work?

PQ elections use a preferential ballot and the votes were announced for each round.

In this system, the electorate ranks their choices in order of preference. If the first choice does not receive 50 per cent plus one of the vote, the candidate with the lowest number of first votes is eliminated and their votes are distributed to their second choice.

If this does not return a result, a second round begins and repeats until a winner is chosen.

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This year’s campaign has focused largely on issues of language, identity and Quebec sovereignty.

Timeline of events for the 2016 leadership race

May 2, 2016 – Pierre Karl Peladeau announces his resignation as leader of the PQ and quits politics, citing family reasons.

May 6, 2016 – Sylvain Gaudreault is elected interim leader.

May 7, 2016 – PQ executive council chooses fall 2016 for the leadership election.

May 9, 2016 – Veronique Hivon enters the leadership race.

May 13, 2016 – Alexandre Cloutier enters the leadership race.

May 16, 2016 – Jean-François Lisée enters the leadership race.

May 27, 2016 – Martine Ouellet enters the leadership race.

May 30, 2016 – Oct. 7 is chosen as election day.

June 3, 2016 – Paul St-Pierre Plamondon enters the leadership race.

July 1, 2016 – PQ hopefuls campaign around sovereignty referendum following Brexit vote.

August 26, 2016 – Veronique Hivon withdraws from the leadership race.

September 11, 2016 – PQ Leadership candidates hold first debate.

September 17, 2016 – Alexandre Cloutier said he received “violent insults” after rival, Jean-François Lisée, published a post on social media insinuating the former had ties to controversial muslim leader Adil Charkaoui.

September 25, 2016 – PQ leadership candidates hold second debate, sorting out their position on language and specifically, the role of the English language in this province.

October 4, 2016 – Leadership candidates debate English education in Quebec.

October 5 – 7, 2016 – Voting takes place online and by phone using a preferential ballot.

October 7, 2016 – Jean-François Lisée is elected leader of the PQ.