Just a quick note that tomorrow there are two by-elections in the ridings of Sturgeon River-Parkland, Alberta (replacing Rona Ambrose, Conservative), and Lac Saint Jean, Quebec (replacing Denis Lebel, Conservative). Sturgeon River-Parkland is a very safe Tory seat so expect them easily hold that one. Lac Saint Jean will be more of a race so here are my thoughts below.
Conservatives: This was a Denis Lebel riding, not a Conservative one. Of the 12 seats they won in Quebec, this was the only one outside the Quebec City region. With their weak showing in adjacent ridings, I would be very surprised if they hold this. The interesting question will be how big is their decline, are the still competitive which is good news for them or do they lose badly which is bad news for them at least in Quebec.
Liberals: Right now, most polls suggest they would lose seats in English Canada so if they want to win a majority in 2019 they probably need to gain seats in Quebec to offset losses elsewhere. This is one of the weakest Liberal ridings in Quebec so difficult to win but if they can, this shows they have the potential to win as many as 65 seats in Quebec next election. A 25 seat gain in Quebec greatly improves their odds of another majority and will make it very difficult for the Tories to beat them in seats. Still I think they have a bit of an uphill battle to win this, but an upset is possible.
NDP: This is not a riding I would expect the NDP to win so it will be more do they implode here or still have a decent showing. A poor showing here could suggest trouble in Quebec where they can ill afford to lose seats while a strong showing even if they come up short shows they are still competitive in Quebec.
Bloc Quebecois: If I had predict which party will take this, I would go with them but admit any of the four parties could pull off a win here. This area voted 67% yes in the 95 referendum, was Lucien Bouchard’s old riding, and has the type of demographics the Bloc Quebecois do well amongst: older, overwhelmingly Francophone, and strong union presence. If they pull this off, they only have to win one more by-election to regain their official status in the House of commons or even just get one NDP or Tory MP to cross the floor to them.
I will have more tomorrow on what it means for each party once the results are in provided it is not too late otherwise on Tuesday I will write up on this.