Conservatives win a By-election Monday June 18, 2018. The media did not see it coming at the start, and now are swallowing hard, that Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer is getting stronger in the national polls each week. It could have been predicted, as the Conservatives have been receiving financial contributions from average voters at a greater rate than the Liberals for quite some time. Giving money to a political Party, means deep commitment. This week was a real test at the ballot box.
Conservative candidate Richard Martel captured 52.7 percent of the vote (more than all others combined) in a federal byelection held in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord - Quebec, more than 5,000 votes ahead of Liberal Lina Boivin, who took 29.5 percent. The New Democrat Party and Bloc Québécois candidates were not in contention, capturing just 8.7 percent and 5.6 percent, while the Green candidate brought 3.1 percent. The typical By-election turnout was 36 percent. The byelection was caused by the resignation of Liberal MP Denis Lemieux. The Conservatives, benefited from the collapse in support for the Bloc and NDP, as they rose from fourth place last time into first.
It seems that Quebecers are tired of the Liberal big-deficit and high-tax agenda. Conservatives believe in responsible spending and in lowering taxes, to make life more affordable for Canadians. Chicoutimi-Le Fjord marks the Liberals' first byelection defeat in a riding they held, since Trudeau became Liberal Leader.
Monday's result is also dismal news for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose efforts to lead his Party has shown to be very lackluster. It also might not be good for the NDP in the next Quebec by-election, once Tom Mulcair resigns his Montreal seat of Outremont at the end of June.
The results in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord is a measure of how much public opinion has shifted in Quebec. Voters recently would shy away from the Conservatives, but this time Quebecers are turning away from the left-wing socialist formula that was previously popular. The NDP finished a distant third in the riding, that it had won in the Quebec orange surge of the 2011 election. The separatist Bloc Quebecois came fourth, which is good for everyone.
In frustration, Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau returned to his old formula, of reminding voters of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, trying to counter the current Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. The Trudeau tactic seemed stale, as a recent Ipsos poll showed that the federal Conservatives could replace the Liberals and form the government, if all Canadians were able to vote last week. The national political mood is moving toward the Conservatives.