What's next for the Bloc Quebecois?
Published Tuesday, May 3, 2011 9:24PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 4:39AM EDT
The Bloc Quebecois faces a dual crisis of relevancy and long-term survival after the party was nearly wiped out in Monday's election, with well-known leader Gilles Duceppe among its dozens of casualties.
The separatist party will have only four elected members when Parliament resumes and Duceppe will not be among them.
Duceppe was drummed out of the Quebec riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie on Monday, after being upset by New Democrat candidate Helene Laverdiere.
The Bloc leader wasted little time in announcing his resignation on Monday night.
"I'm leaving, but others will follow, until Quebec becomes a country," Duceppe told a crowd of supporters.
The stunning upset of Duceppe was part of a wide-ranging trend where NDP candidates swept to victory across Quebec, at the expense of both the separatists and the Liberals.
Overall, the Bloc suffered a net loss of 43 seats across the province, hanging on to only four in total.
Until Monday night, the party had won a majority of Quebec's 75 seats in every federal election since 1993.
CTV's Montreal Bureau Chief Genevieve Beauchemin said the Bloc Quebecois saw the writing on the wall before election night, but they were still stunned by the final results that saw them reduced to a small handful of seats.
"They knew the orange wave was coming, they knew it was going to take a lot of seats here, but they never imagined that it would be to this level here," Beauchemin told CTV's Canada AM on Tuesday morning.
Going forward, the Bloc will not even be counted as an official party in the House of Commons because they have such a small number of seats. That means they will have less resources and less presence in Ottawa for the next four years.
Antonia Maioni, the director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, said the party may not survive in the long-term.
"I'm not quite sure what will happen to that party, whether it has outlived its usefulness as a political organ for Quebecers," Maioni told CTV News Channel on Tuesday morning.
Maioni said many Quebec voters went with the NDP as their federalist option, as part of a larger desire for change in Ottawa, but also as a rejection of Conservative values.
"I think that most Quebecers in the main don't see the Conservative party as a real alternative, because they don't share the same social values as most Quebecers do," she said.
With files from The Canadian Press