MONTREAL — The Coalition Avenir Quebec shattered nearly a half-century of two-party political rule in Quebec on Monday by winning a majority government that will redraw the province’s electoral map.
The party was elected or leading in nearly 75 of the province’s 125 ridings, compared with about 35 for the incumbent Liberals.
Coalition Leader Francois Legault guided his right-leaning, seven-year-old party to victory following a 39-day campaign.
Legault’s party surged out to a strong start shortly after polls closed, leaving the Liberals in second and the Parti Quebecois in a distant third, barely ahead of Quebec solidaire.
With support for independence sliding, the PQ is now facing an existential crisis. The party has steadily watched its support slide after spending about 20 of the last 48 years in office and looked as though it would struggle Monday to get enough support to be recognized as an official party.
The numbers began flowing in following a tightly fought campaign that many had predicted would shake up the political landscape.
It was more like an earthquake.