Quebec Politics in Brief: A Crash Course for the Upcoming Provincial Elections

Election season is fast approaching in Quebec as political parties will officially launch their respective campaigns on Sunday, August 28.

The parties will have 36 days to convince voters that they are the right choice to lead the province.

On Wednesday, Quebec Premier François Legault announced his election campaign on his social media platforms. “I wish all the candidates a good campaign,” he said in French.

The campaign will last until voters go to the polls on Monday, October 3.

In 2018, Legault and the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) won a majority in the province, the party’s first victory in Quebec. It was the first time a new party had taken power in the province since 1976.

Quebec’s electoral calendar is based on fixed-date election legislation that was passed in 2013 under the Parti Québécois (PQ) government of Pauline Marois. The law established a default election day on the first Monday in October every four years.

In Quebec, the duration of the campaign varies between 33 and 39 days. This year it’s 36.

In accordance with electoral laws, Legault will ask Lieutenant Governor Michel Doyon on Sunday to dissolve Parliament and call a general election.

Quebec currently has 25 authorized provincial political parties, four of which succeeded in electing candidates in 2018: the CAQ, the Liberals, the PQ and Quebec solidaire (QS).

There are 125 seats in the National Assembly of Quebec and 63 are needed to form a majority. The CAQ currently has 76 MPs, the Liberals have 27, QS has 10, the PQ has seven, the Conservatives have one and there are four independents.

The leaders

François Legault, Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ)

Director since: November 4, 2011

Dominique Anglade, liberal

Director since: May 11, 2020

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Quebec Solidarity (QS)

Director since: May 21, 2017

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, Parti Québécois (PQ)

Director since: October 9, 2020

Eric Duhaime, curator

Director since: April 17, 2021

During the election period, electors will receive a notice allowing them to check whether their name is correctly entered on the list of electors. The notice indicates the days and times at which they can register (or modify their registration on the list of electors) and vote in advance.

Voters will also receive a reminder card indicating where to vote on election day in Quebec and which candidates are running in their riding.

Voters can register or modify their registration on the electoral list from the 21st to the 4th day preceding polling day.

Voters will have access to various advanced voting methods from the 10th to the 4th day before the election.

If voters do not vote in advance, they will be able to exercise their right to vote on October 3.

Over the past decade, voter turnout in Quebec elections has declined. It fell from 74.6% in 2012 to 71.44 in 2014, then to 66.45% in 2018.

Denise W. Whigham