Gilles Duceppe campaigning for comeback in Montreal riding
Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe was first elected in the Laurier-Sainte-Marie riding, in the eastern part of Montreal, in 1990, and kept winning the seat until he was washed away by the orange wave.
Duceppe lost to the NDP candidate in 2011 and quit politics. He announced his return to the fray earlier this year and he’s set his sights on recapturing his former riding.
“I'm pretty optimistic of winning it back. I think that would have it would not have been a good signal to go somewhere else. I want to be back in a place where I know people and where people know me pretty well also,” he said.
But the competition is very visible. NDP and Liberal campaign posters hang off lampposts in the riding, but there are no Bloc posters and no signs of the Conservatives either.
Daniel Gaudreau is the Conservative candidate running in the riding, where the Tories finished in fourth place behind the NDP, the Bloc and the Liberals in the last federal election.
Meanwhile, NDP incumbent Helene Laverdiere believes her party still has the momentum of the orange wave.
She says NDP MPs have worked hard to prove they're up to the job, and that the orange wave was no fluke.
“We've all been very active in our ridings and I know my colleagues hear the same thing that I hear. People seem to be happy with what we've done up to now and we just plan to do even more,” she said.
Liberal Candidate Christine Poirier believes she has a real shot to surprise everyone and win the seat for her party.
“I think the Liberal plan is a really good plan that people need to hear more about and when I talk about it at the doors, I get a really good ear for it -- the fact that we're going to give back to the middle class and add a tax bracket for the one percent, the wealthiest in the country, so better spread the wealth,” she said.
Regardless, Duceppe said he's convinced he'll be able to come back to his home turf and prove the Bloc isn't just a party of the past. He said people in the riding have welcomed him back with open arms.
“A lot of people said thank you for coming back and we'll do everything to make sure [you win].”