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Edmund Burke


Despite Spin by the Parties, the By-Election Results Reflect Local Voting Patterns

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Conservative Candidate Bernard Généreux

The by-election results of last night are in and the leadership teams of all four major parties are already spinning the results to their advantage. And hearing all of this spin, voters could be forgiven for thinking that the by-election results reflected each party's leader and their national team in the age of cable news. The Liberal Party's insistence that the results of these by-election races do not reflect the performance of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is the only accurate reaction by any of the parties . The Conservative spin is that these by-election results show Canadians approve of Prime Minister Harper's leadership and are a referendum on the Ignatieff's leadership. The New Democratic Party spin is that these by-election results reflect the strong performance Jack Layton. And the Bloc Québécois spin is that they reflect that Quebecers still understand that their party is the only party standing up for Quebec's interests. Each party's leadership team is trying to play the results to their advantage.

In fact, the results in all four by-election races reflected typical local voting patterns. The Nova Scotia riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley has long been a Conservative stronghold, and it remained so with the victory by Conservative candidate Scott Armstrong. The riding of Montmagny--L'Islet--Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup in eastern Quebec provided the only upset of the night, having been held by the Bloc Québécois. The Conservatives put forth a strong candidate in the former mayor of La Pocatière, Bernard Généreux, who having been a well-known local politician was able to win the race. The Quebec riding of Hochelaga, a Bloc Québécois stronghold, again voted that way in a landslide victory for Daniel Paillé despite the New Democratic Party putting forth a strong candidate in Jean-Claude Rocheleau. The British Columbia riding of New Westminster–Coquitlam returned a New Democratic MP to Parliament by voting Fin Donnelly, a prominent local environmentalist.


Elections Canada - November 9, 2009, By-elections

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