Voters in Quebec City head to polling booths on Monday to select an MNA to replace Sam Hamad.

The former Liberal cabinet minister stepped down on April 27, about a year after he left cabinet during allegations he had helped a company trying to win a government grant.

Ihssane El Ghernati was Hamad's former political attaché. Now she's the Liberal candidate for the riding he held for 14 years.

She's not used to being the centre of attention, but after candidate Eric Tetrault dropped out following allegations of workplace harassment, she stepped up.

"As a political attaché you always work in the shadows, but I know how it works. I've done many election campaigns, provincial and federal," said El Ghernati.

"I won't have a learning curve. I already know the files and I can start working right away."

She faces competition in what is a tight race.

Parti Quebecois candidate Normand Beauregard is hearing from voters that they are ready for a change.

"Even longtime Liberas are telling us they won't vote at all, or they won't vote Liberal," said Beauregard.

"What happened with Mr. Tetrault, it hurt the party."

The CAQ also had to replace a candidate, after Normand Sauvageau stepped down following allegations of inappropriate workplace behaviour.

Genevieve Guilbault, a former coroner's office spokesperson who was planning to run in next year's general election, took up the candidacy.

"I've had to deal with tragedies like Lac Megantic and l'Isle Verte so it taught me a great lesson of empathy and a way of listening to people and communicating with people, which I think are both essential in a political experience," she said.

Quebec Solidaire candidate Guillaume Boivin is hoping his party will make a strong showing. Recent polls show support for the left-wing party is growing, although it has yet to win a seat outside the city of Montreal.

"I think that we'll show up again in this election, in Louis-Hebert. We don't want to make predictions, but we have good expectations that the results will be great for us," said Boivin.

Polling is from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2, and employers must give employees at least four consecutive hours to vote during this time.