Denis Coderre’s nosedive was the biggest surprise of the 2021 Montreal election

What happened to La Menace?

While it wasn’t too surprising that Mayor Valérie Plante was re-elected in last night night’s Montreal election, given recent polls and the overall polling trend, the fact that former mayor Denis Coderre fared so much more poorly than expected did come as a surprise to many. The latest numbers from Elections Montreal have Plante at 52.03% and Coderre at 38.01%.

When Coderre announced his candidacy for mayor in March, a Mainstreet poll showed that he was ahead of Plante by 17 points. Two weeks ago, a Leger poll had Plante and Coderre neck and neck with 36% apiece, while just prior to the weekend election, polls from Leger and Mainstreet found that Plante had pulled five and six points ahead of Coderre, respectively.

Last night’s election results for Plante and Balarama Holness were within the +/- 3.4% margin of error for Mainstreet’s poll, however Coderre’s result was well outside of it, having overestimated him by 5%.

A couple of scandals dogged Coderre over the course of the campaign, the latest being his refusal to reveal a list of his recent employers, only to have one of the more scandalous sources of revenue leak and then grudgingly naming a few more. Earlier, a member of Coderre’s Ensemble Montréal was revealed to be a professional house-flipper. Coderre’s performance in the French and English-language televised debates wasn’t deemed to be too impressive, but they weren’t seen as total failures either. Voter apathy may have had something to do with the poor showing. But it’s still a remarkable defeat for someone who seemed to think that the majority of Montrealers were on his side, and not just those in the 65+ demographic.

Denis Coderre’s nosedive was the biggest surprise of the 2021 Montreal election

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