Liberal star candidate Gaetan Barrette cruised to victory in the south-shore riding of La Pinière, defeating Fatima Houda-Pépin, the longtime Liberal who publicly broke with the party in the midst of the contentious debate over the PQ's charter of values.
The former head of the Quebec federation of medical specialists won by a margin of more than 14,000 votes, easily defeating the popular MNA who had represented the riding since 1994.
Houda-Pépin, the only Muslim serving in the National Assembly, says she paid a political price for clashing with the Liberals over a piece of Muslim headgear called a chador — but she says she has no regrets.
"I am very proud of having served the community for over 20 years, six consecutive mandates," she said.
As for Barrette, he says he overcome a major hurdle with voters by shedding the parachute candidate image.
During the campaign, he enlisted the help of Brossard Mayor Paul Leduc.