Welcome to your new home for all the information you need regarding the Montreal Municipal Elections of 2013! Learn about the four main mayoral candidates, what they stood for, how their campaigns rolled out, and how Montrealers followed the election. Relive the campaign and rethink its impact on our city – Did voters make the right decision? Should the candidates have acted differently? You decide!
Denis Coderre, the newly elected 44th Mayor of Montreal, was a longtime federal politician before jumping into the municipal scene. He represented the Montreal-North riding of Bourassa for 16 years under the banner of the Liberal Party of Canada, and served as a federal cabinet minister for several portfolios including Citizenship and Immigration under former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Born and raised in Joliette, Québec, Coderre has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Université de Montréal and an MBA from the University of Ottawa.
Mélanie Joly was the youngest of the four major candidates. The Oxford graduate lawyer and public relations specialist, her campaign is largely considered to have generated the most surprising result, having gathered significant momentum near the end. Joly has announced that she will seek the mayorship once again and will attempt to join City Council as soon as the next by-election is called.
Richard Bergeron’s loss was a major upset for his supporters, given that he had already run unsuccessfully twice before. The architect and urban planner presented a very ambitious platform to Montrealers, which included the implementation of a tramway system and a vast modernization project to revitalize Montreal’s waterfront. Bergeron announced he would step down after 12 to 24 months of serving as Leader of the Opposition at City Hall – enough time for his party, Projet Montréal, to elect a new leader.
Marcel Côté was the oldest and most experienced of the four main candidates. He has founded a major strategic management firm, taught at several universities, served as an economic advisor to premiers and prime ministers, and developed expertise internationally as a leading economist. Côté had formed an unlikely coalition with Louise Harel, a former mayoral candidate, but failed to garner much attention or momentum during the campaign.
The polls at the outset of the campaign suggested that Denis Coderre would win the election with a very wide lead. Though this lead narrowed near the end, he won handily with over 32% of the popular vote. He was followed by political newcomer Mélanie Joly, a 34-year-old lawyer and communications specialist who surprisingly scored most of the anti-establishment vote. Architect and urbanist Richard Bergeron, in his third attempt at a mayoral bid, came in third place with 26%, barely 1% less than Joly. His party, Projet Montréal, however managed to double its seats on City Council with 20 new elected councillors. Marcel Côté, a 71-year-old businessman who formed a coalition with the Vision Montréal party and other disaffected councillors, arrived in last place with less than 13% of the popular vote.
Each Montreal mayoral candidate – Denis Coderre, Mélanie Joly, Richard Bergeron, and Marcel Côté – presented a co-candidate (“colistier” in French) on his or her team. The role of the co-candidate was to cede his or her place to the party leader if the leader lost the mayorship. Such was the case for Richard Bergeron and his co-candidate Janine Krieber.