Five things to know about the Quebec election results
A Parti Quebecois supporter watches election results at the party's reception Monday, April 7, 2014, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
Published Tuesday, April 8, 2014 7:01AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 8, 2014 8:02AM EDT
With the votes tallied and the dust now settling, here's a look at the winners and losers in Quebec's provincial election:
1. Pauline Marois: She not only lost the provincial election, she lost her seat, leading the Parti Quebecois to its worst popular vote result since its first election battle in 1970.
When Marois formed a PQ minority government just 18 months agom the party had 32 per cent of the vote. That support fell to 25 per cent Monday night. In her concession speech, Marois announced she will step down as leader and ensure an "orderly transition."
2. Philippe Couillard: With a strong majority, the Liberal Party leader claims the politics of division are done in Quebec. His election seems to have done the trick, for now at least, having already received congratulations from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
"On behalf of our government, I would like to convey my sincerest congratulations to Philippe Couillard on his election victory," Harper said in a statement. "The results clearly demonstrate that Quebecers have rejected the idea of a referendum and want a government that will be focused on the economy and job creation. We look forward to working with the new government of Quebec on those priorities."
3. Francois Legault: Re-elected with a small gain in seats for his Coalition Avenir Quebec party, the middle way may not be going away. After votes were tallied, Legault vowed to be "vigilant" in his opposition role, and offer a true alternative to the Liberals.
4. Pierre Karl Peladeau: The media baron won his seat in his debut political run for the PQ, and is now dealing with two types of speculation. Was he partly responsible for the PQ's crushing defeat? And is he interested in trying to fill the leadership void now that Marois has resigned? "We must accept Quebecers' choice with humility," he said Monday night.
5. Quebec voters: Early reports suggest voter turnout was more than 70 per cent. Compare that to the last year's B.C. election (52 per cent), the 2012 Alberta election (54 per cent), and the last federal election (61 per cent).