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1996 Bloc Québécois leadership election

1996 Bloc Québécois leadership election

February 17, 1996 1997 →
Candidate Michel Gauthier Francine Lalonde
Riding Roberval Mercier
Votes 104 51
Percentage 67.1% 32.9%

Leader before election

Gilles Duceppe (Interim)

Elected Leader

Michel Gauthier

1996 Bloc Québécois leadership election
DateFebruary 17, 1996
Resigning leaderLucien Bouchard
Won byMichel Gauthier
Bloc Québécois leadership elections
1996 · 1997 · 2011 · 2014 · 2017 · 2019

The 1996 Bloc Québécois leadership election was the leadership election to replace Lucien Bouchard after he left the Bloc Québécois to become Premier of Quebec.[1] Bloc MP Michel Gauthier won the election and became Leader of the Official Opposition.[2][3][1][4] Gauthier's lack of profile resulted in some opposition parties mocking him as being the "faceless leader" of the opposition, as he was largely a political unknown in most of Canada and even in Quebec.[2] His leadership was unpopular with the caucus due to alleged conservative views and his lack of "charisma or authority" when compared to Bouchard.[5] Facing a revolt by his MPs, which culminated in the leaking of confidential caucus discussions, Gauthier resigned in March 1997.[5]


Name Riding Notes Source
Michel Gauthier Roberval Member of Parliament
Joined party on October 25, 1993
Francine Lalonde Mercier Member of Parliament
Joined party on October 25, 1993


First Ballot
Candidate Votes Percentage
GAUTHIER, Michel 104 67.1%
LALONDE, Francine 51 32.9%
Total 155 100%


  1. ^ a b c "The Bloc Québécois through the years". The Globe and Mail. May 3, 2011. Archived from the original on May 8, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Mutimer, David (January 1, 2002). Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs: 1996. University of Toronto Press. p. 38. ISBN 9781770700857.
  3. ^ Bernard, Andre (October 1, 1997). Frizzell, Alan; Pammett, Jon H. (eds.). The Canadian General Election of 1997. Dundurn Press. pp. 135–138. ISBN 9781770700857.
  4. ^ a b "GAUTHIER, Michel, B.Sp". Parliament of Canada. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Ha, Tu Thanh (May 31, 2020). "Former Bloc leader Michel Gauthier, 70, was a longtime voice for Quebec in Ottawa". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "LALONDE, Francine, B.A." Parliament of Canada. Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.

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1996 Bloc Québécois leadership election
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