In an election that pundits had a difficult time predicting with any real certainty, there was one thing that could be counted on — overwhelming Liberal support in western Montreal.
Liberal candidates in all four West Island ridings were declared elected within minutes of the polls closing at 8 p.m.
Among them, two newcomers: star recruit Carlos Leitao, who easily held the seat for the Liberals in the riding of Robert-Baldwin, and Martin Coiteux, who won in Nelligan. Both won with over 80 per cent of the vote.
Leitao replaced 20-year MNA Pierre Marsan, while Coiteux replaced Yolande James.
Longtime MNA Geoff Kelley was re-elected with a similar majority in the riding of Jacques-Cartier, while François Ouimet easily held on to the riding of Marquette.
In all, the Liberals won 21 of 28 seats on the island of Montreal, including the north-end Crémazie riding held by PQ language minister Diane De Courcy, who was beaten by rookie candidate Marie Montpetit.
Among those returning to the National Assembly are Jean-Marc Fournier (St-Laurent), Pierre Arcand (Mont-Royal), Robert Poëti (Marguerite-Bourgeoys), Marc Tanguay (LaFontaine), Jacques Chagnon (Westmount-St-Louis) and Christine St-Pierre (Acadie). Among the Liberal newcomers in Montreal are David Birnbaum in D'Arcy McGee — who won with the largest majority in the province at 92.1 per cent — Jacques Daoust in Verdun, and Hélène David, the sister of Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Françoise David, in Outremont.
Meanwhile, it was a Liberal sweep of all six Laval ridings. Both PQ MNAs went down to defeat Monday: in Ste-Rose, Suzanne Proulx was beaten by newcomer Jean Habel, and in Laval-des-Rapides, ex-student leader Léo Bureau-Blouin was beaten by Saul Polo, the Quebec Liberal Party's president.