It isn't a provincial, federal, or by- election, but it is momentous nevertheless. Tonight, all of Quebec is voting at the municipal level. Some mayors are being elected without opposition, but about 500 mayoral races are in question.
The most important race is, of course, in Montreal. The two front runners are Gérald Tremblay of Union Montréal, who has ties to the provincial Liberals, and Louise Harel of Vision Montréal, who has ties to the Parti Quebecois. The third major candidate is Richard Bergeron of Projet Montréal, who does not have ties to the major provincial parties.
Tremblay and Harel have been the front-runners for the entire campaign, but Bergeron is starting to come up the middle and some people are seriously speaking about the possibility of Bergeron benefiting from the vote-split between Tremblay and Harel. Tremblay had 53% of the vote in the last municipal election to Vision Montréal's Pierre Bourque's 37%. It will no doubt be much closer tonight.
The next most important mayoral race is in Quebec City, but is also one of the most predictable. Régis Labeaume will almost certainly be re-elected.
In Laval, Gilles Vaillancourt is a good bet to repeat, after taking 72% in the last municipal election. He's been mayor since 1989.
In Longueuil, the race is between Jacques Goyette (the successor of departing mayor Claude Gladu), and Caroline St-Hillaire, formerly a Bloc Quebecois MP.
In Gatineau, Marc Bureau is looking for his second term, and will be opposed by Aurèle Desjardins, Luc Desjardins, Tony Cannavino, Richard Gravel, and Roger Fleury. I haven't been following the race, but from what I have heard the race is between Bureau, Aurèle Desjardins, and Richard Gravel.
In Saguenay, the outspokenly-Catholic mayor Jean Tremblay will be up against Michel Potvin. Tremblay seems to be popular, however.
Should be an interesting night. We can get our election-coverage-watching selves some practice for the by-elections on November 9.