In brief

Bloc Québécois cements itself as third largest party in Canadian Parliament

Pro-independence party makes slight gains in snap election won again by Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberals

Blanchet's portait on a BQ campaign bus.
Blanchet's portait on a BQ campaign bus. Author: Bloc Québecois
The Bloc Québécois (BQ) will add two more seats to the 32 it already had in the Canadian House of Commons, after the legislative election held yesterday in the North American country. The 34 seats obtained, with 99% of the polls declared, will be enough to keep the BQ as the third party in the lower house of the Canadian Parliament, only behind the Liberals (158 seats) and the Conservatives (119).

The snap election leaves Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party with a plurality of seats, the absolute majority being at 170 seats. Trudeau will therefore again need to seek support from other groups in order to govern.

BQ leader Yves-François Blanchet had said that exceeding 32 seats would be a good result for his party and reaching 40, “a dream”.

The BQ’s manifesto focused on overcoming the pandemic, improving federal funding to the provinces for health care, promoting the French language, and fighting climate change, among other issues.

Quebec independence has not featured prominently among campaign issues. Nor does the BQ’s manifesto make any reference to it. For years, polls have shown that a large majority of Quebecers would reject independence if a new referendum were held.