Defeated candidate Émelien Pelletier did not hold back his bitterness when he ran into reporters on his way into what would almost certainly be his last ever PQ caucus meeting.
"What's the deal you had with [premier-designate] Couillard?" he asked the journalists who tried to talk to him. He told them squarely that they were responsible for his party's disastrous results.
"You were pretty much the artisans."
He said media concentrated their criticism on the Parti Quebecois, while not asking about a "deal" between Couillard and Arthur Porter (the idea of an agreement had been mentioned by either party during the campaign).
Daniel Breton lost Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques, a seat that had been held by the PQ for the past 25 years. He says his party was powerless against the Liberal's referendum "boogieman."
"How can we manage that when people never stop repeating that there will be a referendum? We repeated that we wouldn't have one...We had said so for three weeks. If people perpetuate those lies, well..."
Breton said his party's pledge to not hold a referendum unless Quebecers were ready was "clear enough."
Another defeated candidate, Dominique Payette, tells the media they need to spend more time discussing issues. "On the referendum story, I think you were manipulated by the Liberal party," she says.
But the man who failed to win Trois-Rivieres, Alexis Deschênes, says people in the riding wanted a straight answer about whether or not his party would call a vote to separate, and he wasn't able to give them one.
"We have to be clearer on what we aim to do," he said.
integrity and the charter
No candidates directly blamed the charter. When asked, many said there were a number of elements that contributed to their defeat.
Out-going minister Pierre Duchesne, who failed to keep his seat in Bordua, said public cynicism was a "enormous monster" in the campaign.
"We have to be conscious that we are also responsible as elected officials to have fed the kind of beast that is cynicism."
He would not say whether the Parti Quebecois' focus on UPAC and illegal financing may have fed that cynicism. The party had themselves been visited by UPAC and had benefited from disguised funds.
"That, we will see. There was the problem of integrity and people want honest representatives," he said.
Payette, however, said the apparent contradiction in the PQ's integrity stance should not have been an issue. "It's not the same scale. For the media, at the certain point, (they) just compare what is not comparable."
Outgoing premier Pauline Marois entered her party's caucus meeting through the kitchen of the hotel where it was being held, avoiding the media.