Coalition for Quebec's Future captures Louis-Hebert riding in byelection
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QUEBEC — Coalition for Quebec's Future captured the riding of Louis-Hebert in a provincial byelection on Monday, wresting away what was once considered a safe Liberal seat and a Quebec City-area stronghold for the governing party since 2003.
Former coroner's office spokeswoman Genevieve Guilbault was assured victory in the riding for the third-place Coalition party, garnering just over 51 per cent of vote.
Ex-political attache Ihssane El Ghernati finished second with almost 19 per cent and Parti Quebecois candidate Norman Beauregard took third place with just over 16 per cent.
Voter turnout was registered at 52.4 per cent according to the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec.
Voters in the riding went to the polls to choose a new member of the legislature, left vacant after the departure of longtime Liberal Sam Hamad in April.
The byelection was considered an important test for the governing Liberals in a riding they'd held for years with comfortable majorities, especially with the next provincial election around the corner in 2018.
The campaign was chaotic from the outset, with both the Liberal and Coalition original candidates dropping out within hours of each other over allegations of psychological harassment dating back to their former jobs.
The result leaves the governing Liberals with 68 of the 125 seats in the legislature, compared with 28 for the PQ, 21 for the Coalition, and three for Quebec solidaire. There are five Independent members.
The runoff was a record 15th byelection in Quebec since the last provincial election in April 2014.