By Matthew McCully
The Compton-Stanstead federal riding is in the hands of around 60,000 voters, based on turn-out at each of the last two elections.
Liberal Party of Canada candidate Marie-Claude Bibeau first won the riding in 2015, ousting New Democratic Party MP Jean Rousseau by a margin of just over 5,000 votes. The Bloc Québécois came third and the Conservative Party of Canada had the fourth highest vote count.
Things changed significantly in 2019 when Jean Rousseau left the NDP to represent the Green Party of Canada. The votes did not follow him, nor did they remain with the NDP. They shifted to other parties, mainly the Bloc. While Bibeau was able to hold the riding in 2019, it was to a much narrower margin, with the Bloc just 3,100 votes behind. The Conservatives finished third, and the NDP dropped to fourth in the race.
So where do things stand now?
There are eight candidates on the ballot this year in Compton-Stanstead:
Geneva Allen, New Democratic Party
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Liberal Party of Canada
Yves Bourassa, People’s Party of Canada
Nathalie Bresse, Bloc Québécois
Sylvain Dodier, Green Party of Canada
Déitane Gendron, Free Party Canada
Sylvain Longpré, Independent
Pierre Tremblay, Conservative Party of Canada
Liberal incumbent Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s first woman to serve as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, is well-known and respected in the riding by both English and French communities, but she may face dissent from voters upset that a snap election was called during a pandemic by party leader Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Also, the one-two punch of provincial Bill 96 threatening the constitutional rights of English-speakers, along with the federal government’s proposed changes to the Official Languages Act, have created an unease among Quebec Anglos that could be reflected at the polls.
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