Quebec holds election that may shift province to the right

03 Octobre, 2018, 10:39 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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Saying Quebec had been "sacrificed" for the benefit of Ontario's auto industry, he urged voters to choose the PQ on Monday.

The election in Quebec, home to the majority of Canada's influential dairy farmers, comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government chose to open up the country's dairy industry to the United States, as part of concessions made to strike a last-minute deal for a renegotiated NAFTA.

"There are four parties in the national assembly that are unanimous", he said.

Lisee's PQ entered the campaign as the official Opposition but remained mired in third place in the polls, with the left-wing Quebec solidaire snapping at its heels.

The Liberals had 68 seats at the legislature's dissolution, while the Parti Quebecois had 28, the Coalition had 21 and the small, left-leaning Quebec solidaire had three. There were five Independents.

The majority of public opinion polls conducted prior to election day showed that the centre-right Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) party has a good chance of unseating the governing Liberals led by Philippe Couillard and forming the next provincial government. Sixty-three seats are needed to form a majority.

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While Quebec's economy has surged in recent years, opinion polls have suggested for months that voters are looking for a change after 15 years of almost continuous Liberal rule.

If you haven't voted yet, you can this morning as of 9:30 a.m. ET and anytime until 8 p.m., when polls close.

With the exception of a 19-month Parti Quebecois minority government between 2012 and 2014, the Liberals have been in power since 2003.

With the PQ promising to not hold a sovereignty referendum in the next four years if it wins the election, the campaign focused on immigration, health care and the best way to spend the province's billions in budget surpluses.

Legault has campaigned on a controversial plan to take in 10,000 fewer immigrants a year and to expel new residents who fail to pass tests on French and Quebec values within three years.

A Coalition victory would mark the first time in almost 50 years that the province would be led by a party other than the Liberals or the Parti Quebecois.

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