Quebec votes: Advanced voting almost doubles compared with last election – Montreal | Canadian

The percentage of Quebec voters who have cast an early ballot has almost doubled compared with the last election, the province’s elections office said Monday.

About 13 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots on Sunday –the first of two advanced polling days– up from about seven per cent after the first polling day in the 2018 election, according to Elections Quebec.

Seven of the 10 ridings that reported the highest turnouts on Sunday were in the greater Quebec City area –where the incumbent Coalition Avenir Québec is facing a challenge from the Conservatives led by Eric Duhaime.

The high turnout in the region bodes well for the Conservatives because people who are motivated to vote are often people who want a change in government, Duhaime told reporters Monday in the Montreal suburb of Laval.

“When we see there’s a lot of people participating, we think it’s a good sign,” Duhaime said.

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“We do believe more people participating means people are looking for a change.”

Read more:

Leaders urge Quebecers to vote as advance polls open ahead of provincial election

But the Tory leader said that despite the high polling numbers _ the Conservatives are polling at between 16 and 19 per cent depending on the survey –his party isn’t assured of winning a single seat in the 125-seat legislature because of the distribution of the vote and the fact there is a tight, four-way race between the four main opposition parties.

Meanwhile, two of Quebec’s main party leaders were travelling on Monday to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine region, which is in cleanup mode after a battering from post-tropical storm Fiona.

Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon visited the eastern Quebec island chain to see if there was anything his party could do to help.

He told reporters that recovery efforts seemed well underway, but he said Quebecers hit by natural disasters in the past haven’t received the support they needed.

READ MORE: Quebec election 2022: Find your riding, local candidates

CAQ Leader François Legault is to visit the Îles-de-la-Madeleine riding later in the day. His party hopes to steal the district from the PQ, where the incumbent, Joel Arseneau, is facing a stiff challenge from well-known local mayor and CAQ candidate Jonathan Lapierre.

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Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade on Monday said her party is the best prepared to deal with a recession, accusing the CAQ of failing to anticipate the inflation crisis and struggling to recognize the persistent problem of labour shortages.

Speaking to reporters in Montreal, she promised $4 billion for education infrastructure, including $500 million to improve ventilation in schools.

Anglade said she will also travel to the Iles-de-la-Madeleine ahead of election day Oct. 3.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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