The thin gap between the Bloc Québécois Denis Trudel and the Liberal Florence Gagnon continued the suspense in the riding of Longueuil — Saint-Hubert shortly after midnight, as in recent weeks.
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Three hours after the closing of the polling stations and with 70% of the votes counted, less than 500 votes separated the two candidates.
Liberal Florence Gagnon, a 32-year-old strategic development consultant running for the second time under the Liberal banner, led the way.
Despite the uncertainty, outgoing Bloc member Denis Trudel still had hopes of regaining the seat he has occupied since 2019 in this riding which has 86,352 registered voters.
“It’s a funny atmosphere, we do not really know how it will turn,” admitted the candidate, visibly disappointed with these mixed results.
M’s margin of advanceme Gagnon, who had been growing in his favor since 11pm, was not yet important enough to grant him the victory.
Throughout the campaign, rival candidates traded for first place in the polls, with the Bloc enjoying a slight lead down the stretch.
Mme Gagnon was convinced, however, that his team’s efforts in the field over the past year were paying off.
Photo Anne-Caroline Desplanques
“We’re pretty confident, we’ve worked extremely hard. We knew from the start that it was going to be tight, ”says the candidate joined by phone, considered by many as a hope within the party.
One and the other
The counting of the results was a roller coaster ride all evening.
If the applause of a dozen Bloc activists gathered at the restaurant-pub Chez Vincent resonated with each election of one of theirs, silence reigned when the liberal candidate was given in advance.
On the Liberal side, a small rally was organized at the local campaign.
The latter had great hopes in this constituency which had escaped them by less than 3,000 votes in 2019 despite the candidacy of the former PQ minister Réjean Hébert.
Proof of his importance, Chief Justin Trudeau has even endorsed his candidate in person twice rather than once in the past 36 days.
The issues concerning the housing crisis, the development of the Saint-Hubert airport and the protection of wetlands captured the attention of voters in this riding on the South Shore of Montreal.
The question of the ballot box
For Mr. Trudel, the question of the ballot box was one of respect for Quebecers.
He was convinced that the English debate, where the leader Yves-François Blanchet was questioned on the “discriminatory” nature of the Law on the secularism of the State, motivated several voters to vote for the Bloc.
Mme Gagnon thought rather that the voters’ choice was made in connection with the management of the pandemic, and with the issue of child care spaces.
“As a young woman, I heard a lot about it,” she says.
And the others
The Greens, which came in third place in the last election thanks to the candidacy of Pierre Nantel, were this time represented by the civil engineer Simon King.
The candidate said he was open to working with the next person elected for the good of the planet, since his mandate will be “decisive”.
“We will have to act with as much firmness and daring for the environment as we did for the health crisis,” he told the Journal, as he was about to take down his election signs to reuse them in the next election.
At the end of the evening, he collected 3.5% of the vote.
Voters may have to patiently work out their next MP until the majority of the mail-in votes are counted, which could go to Wednesday.
The Bloc says 2,222 people requested a kit by mail, and 1,750 of them were received this morning.
New Democratic Party candidates Mildred Murray and Conservative Party of Canada candidates Boukare Tall did not respond to requests from the Journal.