CAQ captures Liberal stronghold in Quebec City byelection

Coalition Avenir Quebec candidate Genevieve Guilbault celebrates her victory with leader Francois Legault, in a provincial by-election in the riding of Louis-Hebert, Monday, October 2, 2017 in Quebec City. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) captured the riding of Louis-Hebert in a provincial byelection last night — taking what was once viewed as a safe Liberal seat and a Quebec City-area stronghold since 2003.

Former coroner’s office spokeswoman Genevieve Guilbault captured just over 51 per cent of vote.

READ MORE: Quebec City byelection a test for party leaders ahead of 2018 election

Liberal candidate Ihssane El Ghernati finished second with almost 19 per cent and Parti Québécois (PQ) candidate Normand Beauregard came in third with just over 16 per cent.

Voter turnout was 52.4 per cent according to the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec.

The byelection was held to choose a new member of the legislature, left vacant after the departure of longtime Liberal Sam Hamad in April.

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READ MORE: Liberal MNA Sam Hamad quits politics

The byelection was considered an important test for the governing Liberals in a riding they’d held for years with comfortable majorities, especially with the next provincial election around the
corner in 2018.

The result leaves the governing Liberals with 68 of the 125 seats in the legislature.

The PQ has 28 seats, the CAQ has 21 and Québec Solidaire has three. There are five Independent members.

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