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Quebec general election, 1981

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Quebec general election, 1981

Quebec general election, 1981

April 13, 1981

122 seats in the 32nd National Assembly of Quebec
62 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 82.52%
  First party Second party Third party
Leader René Lévesque Claude Ryan Roch LaSalle
Party Parti Québécois Liberal Union Nationale
Leader since October 14, 1968 April 15, 1978 January 9, 1981
Leader's seat Taillon Argenteuil Ran in Berthier (lost)
Last election 71 seats, 41.37% 26 seats, 33.78% 11 seats, 18.20%
Seats won 80 42 0
Seat change +9 +16 -11
Popular vote 1,773,237 1,658,753 144,070
Percentage 49.26% 46.07% 4.00%
Swing +7.89% +12.29% -14.20%

Premier before election

René Lévesque
Parti Québécois


René Lévesque
Parti Québécois

The Quebec general election of 1981 was held on April 13, 1981, to elect members of the National Assembly of the Province of Quebec, Canada. The incumbent Parti Québécois, led by René Lévesque, won re-election, defeating the Quebec Liberal Party, led by Claude Ryan.

The PQ won re-election despite having lost the 1980 Quebec referendum on sovereignty-association, the party's proposal for political independence for Quebec in an economic union with the rest of Canada. To some extent, they were helped by Claude Ryan's old-fashioned campaign style: he refused to tailor sound bites for the evening news and ran a campaign generally unsuited for television coverage.

The Union Nationale, which had won 11 seats in a modest comeback in the 1976 general election, was reduced to five seats at dissolution by numerous floor crossings, retirements and resignations. Among the departures was that of its leader in the 1976 election, Rodrigue Biron, who crossed the floor to the PQ. The once-proud party lost all of its remaining seats, never to return. The party essentially ended at this point, though it lingered in desultory fashion until 1989.


  • Results 1
  • See also 2
  • External links 3
  • References 4


The overall results were:[1]

Party Party leader # of
Seats Popular vote
1976 Elected % Change # % % Change
Parti Québécois René Lévesque 122 71 80 +12.7% 1,773,237 49.26% +7.89%
Liberal Claude Ryan 122 26 42 +53.8% 1,658,753 46.07% +12.29%
Union Nationale Roch LaSalle 121 11 - -100% 144,070 4.00% -14.20%
     Workers Communist Roger Rashi 33 * - * 4,956 0.14% *
     Freedom of Choice Duncan McDonald 12 * - * 4,955 0.14% *
Marxist–Leninist Robert Verrier 40 * - * 3,299 0.09% *
Libertarian Victor Levis 10 * - * 3,178 0.09% *
     United Social Credit Jean-Paul Poulin 16 * - - 1,284 0.04% *
     Workers   10 * - * 1,027 0.03% *
Communist Sam Walsh 10 * - * 768 0.02% *
     Independents/no designation   29       4,570 0.12%  
Total 525 110 122 +10.9% 3,600,097 100%  


* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election or information not available.

Vote share
Union Nationale

See also

External links

  • CBC TV video clip
  • Results by party (total votes and seats won)
  • Results for all ridings


  1. ^ "Résultats officiels par parti politique pour l'ensemble des circonscriptions". Directeur général des élections du Québec. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
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