Justin Trudeau, Quebec and the possibility of an early test

Looking ahead to a by-election in Bourassa

Martin Patriquin takes a good look at Justin Trudeau’s appeal and success in Quebec.

The likely Liberal leader’s standing in the province might be tested very quickly. Denis Coderre, the MP for Bourassa, is thought to be preparing to run for mayor of Montreal. Last fall, he said he would remain an MP until at least the next Liberal leader is chosen in April. If Mr. Coderre steps down, the Liberals have a seat to defend and it’s not obviously a safe one for them. In 2011, the New Democrats got within 3,280 votes of Mr. Coderre and he finished with his lowest vote total in his seven elections there.

So Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals will have to hope to hold it and the Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats will, with some justification, be hoping to pick it up—with visions of Outremont possibly dancing in each side’s respective heads—and the final result will no doubt be interpreted as having some greater meaning for both sides.

(And then, as well, partisans and pundits might bother Daniel Paille, the seatless leader of the Bloc, with questions about whether he’ll run in Bourassa.)