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Separatist party faces uphill battle in Quebec vote

Quebec voters head to the polls Monday to pick a new government to lead Canada's French-speaking province, after a campaign that saw the separatist ruling party renew calls for independence. But the Parti Quebecois's renewed talk of having the province break away from Canada could prove costly, with Premier Pauline Marois's party trailing in the polls behind the pro-unity Quebec Liberals. Marois, whose government is in the minority, had called the midterm elections 18 months into the PQ's mandate, hoping to gain seats to form a majority government.

Quebec political party leaders make push for votes in waning election campaign

MONTREAL - Pauline Marois made a last-ditch appeal to supporters on Sunday to get out and vote for her Parti Quebecois on election day, ruling out any kind of deals with the Coalition party to shore up her party if it wins another minority government. "I want to obtain the confidence of Quebecers," she said when the possibility was raised in a campaign swing through the Quebec City region. "I am asking for their confidence."

Quebec political party leaders make push for votes in waning election campaign

MONTREAL - Quebec's political leaders are making a last-ditch push for votes in Monday's elections. Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois is telling her supporters she believes her party will form a government when the votes are counted. She says she has information that victory is possible although polls have indicated the Liberals under Philippe Couillard are in the lead. Couillard, who is blitzing ridings in the Gaspe area, is warning voters that supporting the Coalition party risks putting the PQ in power through a split vote.

MPs Jean Crowder and Alexandre Boulerice chosen as NDP 2015 election co-chairs

OTTAWA - The NDP has chosen two high-profile MPs to be the architects of its 2015 election strategy. Jean Crowder and Alexandre Boulerice have been named co-chairs of the NDP's national campaign. It will fall to Crowder and Boulerice to lead the NDP's planning and preparations for next year's campaign, in which the party hopes to build on gains in the 2011 federal election that saw it become the official Opposition for the first time in its history. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair made the announcement Sunday in Ottawa at a weekend meeting of the party's federal council.

Mulcair says he's only federal leader eligible to vote in Quebec election

OTTAWA - NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says he's the only federal leader eligible to cast a ballot in tomorrow's Quebec election. Mulcair says Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau cannot vote because he no longer lives in Quebec, despite representing a Montreal riding. The NDP leader says he voted in an advance poll for Geoffrey Kelley of the province's Liberal party, who Mulcair says is a long-time friend who he considers a social democrat with deep NDP roots.

Marois appears to regret sovereignty talk during election campaign

MONTREAL - Quebec Premier Pauline Marois appeared to have some regret on Saturday that she allowed herself to get bogged down in the sovereignty issue as the provincial election campaign entered its final weekend. When asked Saturday if she could change one aspect of her Parti Quebecois election campaign, Marois told reporters she likely "wouldn't answer questions about sovereignty, given that the key issue remains the choice of a government, a strong government."

QuickSketch of Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois

MONTREAL - Quebecers will vote in a provincial election on Monday. Here is a sketch of Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois. Born: March 29, 1949, in Quebec City. Education: Bachelor's degree in social services from Universite Laval; master's in business administration from l'Ecole des hautes etudes commerciales in Montreal. Professional career: Social services administrator, 1971-79; political attache for PQ, 1978-79; university professor, 1988.

QuickSketch of Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois

MONTREAL - Quebecers will vote in a provincial election on Monday. Here is a sketch of Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois. Born: March 29, 1949, in Quebec City. Education: Bachelor's degree in social services from Universite Laval; master's in business administration from l'Ecole des hautes etudes commerciales in Montreal. Professional career: Social services administrator, 1971-79; political attache for PQ, 1978-79; university professor, 1988.

Federalist party takes lead in Quebec midterm election

Canada's mostly French-speaking Quebec province goes to the polls Monday with the opposition Liberals -- champions of Canadian unity -- jumping ahead of the ruling separatist Parti Quebecois in public opinion surveys. The Parti Quebecois (PQ), led by Pauline Marois, had triggered the midterm elections 18 months into its mandate, hoping to gain seats to form a majority government.

Electoral officer checking campus visit by PQ minister during advance polling

MONTREAL - Quebec's chief electoral officer is looking into at least one of the visits made by a Parti Quebecois cabinet minister to colleges and universities on advance polling days. Bernard Drainville tweeted a number of recent selfies, including one that showed him sitting at a table at the Universite de Sherbrooke last Friday talking to a student. The minister responsible for drafting the controversial values charter can be seen holding what appears to be PQ election pamphlets.
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