Quebec Studies

Towards a New Party System in Québec? The 2018 Québec Provincial Election in Historical Perspective

Quebec Studies (2019), 68, (1), 5–36.

Abstract

The 2018 Québec election suggests the consolidation of a new party system, the fifth in its history, after an extended transition. The previous system (1973–2014), was characterized by predominantly two-party competition between the Parti Libéral du Québec and the Parti Québécois over sovereignty issues. The new party system emerges from the fragmentation and regrouping of both coalitions. This article explores the historical evolution of party competition in Québec, sources of “traditional” party support and the emergence of new parties, especially since 2003. It outlines the primary regional, demographic, and social cleavages that shaped the outcome of the 2018 election and key factors likely to affect the evolution of party competition.

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Hale, Geoffrey