After 1-vote loss on election night, recount gives Quebec mayor 1-vote win

·1 min read
Denis Tassé is the new mayor of Montpellier, Que., after a judicial recount determined that the former Gatineau city councillor won by a single vote. The election night tally suggested he'd actually lost by a lone vote. (Stéphanie Rhéaume/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Denis Tassé is the new mayor of Montpellier, Que., after a judicial recount determined that the former Gatineau city councillor won by a single vote. The election night tally suggested he'd actually lost by a lone vote. (Stéphanie Rhéaume/Radio-Canada - image credit)

For new Montpellier, Que., Mayor Denis Tassé, his edge-of-the-seat election has played out a bit like reality television.

When Quebecers cast ballots in municipal elections across the province Nov. 7, it appeared voters in the small town northeast of Ottawa had narrowly re-elected Stéphane Séguin to a third-term in the mayor's office.

The election night vote tally, however, was as close as you can get: 367 votes for Séguin and 366 votes for Tassé.

That prompted Tassé, a businessman and former city councillor in Gatineau, Que., to request a judge take a second look.

The subsequent recount discovered it was actually Tassé who defeated his rival by a single vote, not the other way around.

The final tally was 366 votes for Tassé, 365 for Séguin.

"It's quite spectacular," Tassé told Radio-Canada in French after learning he'd won the race. "It was almost like a reality show."

While the nailbiter of an election suggests the roughly 1,100 residents of Montpellier are hopelessly divided, Tassé says he'll do his best to ensure that's not the case.

"I am a person who works in a team," he said.

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