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Québec solidaire snags historic election victory in Verdun

Click to play video: 'Verdun votes for Québec Solidaire, ousting Liberals after 5 decades'
Verdun votes for Québec Solidaire, ousting Liberals after 5 decades
WATCH: The historic red riding of Verdun has changed hands turning orange as Québec Solidaire squeezed by with a victory. It was an on again off again night, as the riding changed to from red to orange and back again. Global's Elizabeth Zogalis reports – Oct 4, 2022

The historic red riding of Verdun in Montreal changed hands on Monday evening, turning orange as Québec solidaire squeezed by with a victory.

Québec solidaire’s Alejandra Zaga Mendez couldn’t celebrate with her party on provincial election night and instead had to watch from her Verdun home while isolating with COVID-19.

“It was a roller coaster of emotions,” said Zaga Mendez. “My iPad, my phone, everything was exploding and yes I was excited.”

Zaga Mendez won with 30 per cent, taking the seat from Quebec Liberal Party incumbent Isabelle Melançon, who has represented the riding in the national assembly since 2016. The Verdun riding has been a Liberal stronghold since the 1940s.

Read more: ‘Our political system is broken’: Quebec opposition parties want electoral reform after vote results

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It was a nail biter all evening with both the Liberals and Québec solidaire going back and forth from first and second place until the very end. However, with a difference of 500 votes between candidates, the Liberals initially hinted they would request an official recount.

In a short statement to Global News late Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the Quebec Liberals said they had decided against it.

“After an analysis of the counting of votes at the Director of Election’s Office in Verdun today, we have decided against requesting a judicial recount,” said party spokesperson Maxime Roy.

Zaga Mendez wasn’t worried.

Read more: François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec wins another majority government

“For us, the results are pretty clear and I think the people of Verdun have spoken.”

The borough’s demographic has changed in the last decade and Zaga Mendez thinks Québec solidaire’s platform connects with the reality of its residents.

“We’re talking about housing issues and we’re talking about the environment, about social services,” she said. “We have a lot of work to do over the next four years, but I am excited.”

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