The Outremont district, which is holding a by-election this Monday, February 25, is unique in its size and diversity. The district encompasses six different boroughs: Outremont, the eastern part of Côte-des-Neiges, as well as the western parts of the Mile End and the Plateau. Each section of the Outremont district has its own community with their own needs and issues. Outremont’s population is over 102,000 people; approximately 71,300 are registered to vote as of 2015.
Cultural and socioeconomic differences are also present in the many areas of Outremont. The Outremont borough is one of Montreal’s richest neighborhoods, while Côte-des-Neiges has the second-highest concentration of working poor in Montreal and is home to recent immigrants and racialized communities. The Mile-End sees high volumes of students living alongside a large Hasidic community.
Université de Montréal is situated in the centre of the riding, and some areas of Outremont have a high concentrations of students. However, levels of education in the district vary; percentages of those without a university diploma or degree range from 7.9 to 34.7, according to a 2011 national census.
The 2011 census reports that the riding was the youngest in the province, with a median age of 34.3, and had the fourth lowest income, with a median income of $22,551. Since 2011, the median income for the riding has increased slightly, reaching $27,236 in 2016, while the median age has remained constant at 34.
Since Tom Mulcair’s election in 2007, Outremont was the only NDP riding in Quebec prior to the 2011 election’s “Orange Wave.” The riding has been shared between the two parties consistently over the last few decades. Historically, Outremont is a Liberal riding. The Liberals are the only party who have enjoyed consistent success in the riding of Outremont since the district’s creation. A Conservative MP was elected by Outremont in 1988 and only served one term; the party has not won again since.
February 17 polls show a slight rise in NDP support, but the party still remains far behind the Liberals, polling at 19.7 and 40.4 per cent, respectively. The Conservatives are polling at 15.4 per cent and the Green Party at 11 per cent. The Qc125 Project predicts that the Liberal Party has a 99 per cent chance of winning in Outremont on February 25.
On February 25, Liberal Rachel Bendayan won the election.