Quebec municipal election: Valérie Plante wins resounding victory, and strong second term

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Quebec municipal election: Valérie Plante wins resounding victory, and strong second term
Quebec municipal election: Valérie Plante wins resounding victory, and strong second term

Valerie Plante has handily won a second term as Montreal’s mayor, saying it’s a sign Montrealers want a more permanent kind of change than anyone knew.

“What [voters] have confirmed tonight is that the election of Projet Montreal in 2017 wasn’t just a fluke,” Plante said in a victory speech shortly after 10 p.m.

“It was, in fact, the beginning of a new era, the beginning of governing Montreal in a different way… for the long term,” she said, and with “transparent” leadership.

With the vast majority of votes counted as of 11 p.m., Plante was up about 16 points and 50,000 votes, with 53 per cent of the vote compared to 37 per cent won by her challenger, former mayor Denis Coderre.

Plante declared her victory just after 9 p.m. A crowd of supporters erupted in cheers at Theatre Olympia on Sainte-Catherine St., where the Plante campaign team was gathered to await results.

In an effusive speech, as the crowd continued to shout, Plante said voters also showed “that we can lead Montreal with a smile,” punctuating her speech with loud whoops and laughter.

She also did a victory dance at the end of the speech.

Since 2017, Projet Montreal has also been “renewed, diversified,” she said.

Montreal “is the envy of the world for its quality of life and its commitment to ecology,” she said.

Her campaign revolved largely around climate change and long-term city planning linked to it, such as encouraging cycling, as well as affordable housing, including a plan to build more public housing and co-ops and to create strict new rules for landlords.

Plante spoke in French for the first 15 minutes or so of her speech, then switched to English for about a minute before switching back to French for a few more minutes.

“Montreal is a city of many diverse communities,” including “groups that have their long-lasting institutions and traditions,” she said during the short English portion.

“You can count on us to be there and to represent all of you.”

Turnout in this election appears so far to have been very, very low — as of 4 p.m., it was under 32 per cent, and final numbers haven’t been reported yet.

That’s 10 percentage points below 2017’s turnout.

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