Let's look at them one at a time.
In the last General Election January 23, 2006, the results were (in round numbers):
Bloc - 28,000 (56%)
Conservatives - 12,000 (24%)
Liberal - 5000 (10%)
NDP - 2700 (5.4%)
Total votes cast - 50,000 (67% - based on 76000 eligible voters in 2007 by-election).
In the by-election September 17, 2007, the results were (in round numbers):
Bloc - 13,500 (42%)
Conservatives - 12,000 (37.5%)
Liberal - 2400 (7.4%)
NDP - 2500 (7.9%)
Total votes cast - 32,500 (43% based on 76000 eligible voters)
1. Bloc lose 14%
2. Conservatives gain 13.5%
3. Liberals lose 2.6%
4. NDP gains 2.5%
5. Turnout down by 24%
Conservatives make big gain on the Bloc. NDP gains a little on the
Grits. Turnout very low.
2. Roberval - Lac-Saint-Jean
In the General Election, January 23, 2006, the results were (in round numbers):
Bloc - 18,000 - 45%
Conservatives - 15,000 - 38%
Liberal - 3000 - 8.5%
NDP - 2000 - 5%
Total Votes cast - 40,000 (63% of 63,000 eligible voters in the 2007 by-election).
In the byelection the numbers were:
Bloc - 8000 - 26.8%
Conservatives - 17,500 - (59.7%)
Liberal - 2,800 - 9.6%
NDP - 700 - 2.3%
Total Votes Cast 29,527 (46% based on 63,000 eligible voters).
1. Bloc loses 18%.
2. Conservatives gain 20 %.
3. Liberals gain a little - 1.1%.
4. NDP lose 2.7%.
3. Turnout down by 17%.
Conclusion: Conservatives win big over the Bloc. The rest is a wash. Turnout very low.
In the last General Election, the results were (in round numbers):
Bloc: 12,000 (29%)
Conservative: 5000 (12%)
Liberals: 14,000 (34%)
NDP: 7000 (17%)
Total votes cast 41000 (65% of by-election eligible voters)
In the by-election, the numbers were:
Bloc: 2600 (10.9%)
Conservative: 2100 (8.6%)
Liberals: 7000 (29%)
NDP: 11,400 (47.5%)
Total votes cast: 24000 (37.5%)
1. Bloc lose 18.1%
2. Conservatives lose 3.4%
3. Liberals lose 5%
4. NDP gain 30.5%
5. Turnout down by 27.5%
NDP win big over the Bloc, and picks up a few points from the Conservatives and Liberals. Conservatives go nowhere in the big city riding. Turnout very low.
So who took it on the chin?
I say the Bloc. Its losses were the greatest in terms of popular support - 14%, 18%, and 18.1%. It also lost a seat. It bodes ill for the Bloc and by extension, Pauline Marois' PQ.
Who was the big winner? Why the NDP of course. They haven't had a seat in Quebec since Phil Edmonston fluked one in 1990 in a by-election in the Riding of Chambly. Edmonston, a contrary sort who continues to be a superb consumer advocate fingering 'lemon' autos, was also a Quebec nationalist. He was never at home in the NDP and packed it up without running again in the next General Election in 1993. That, so far as I know, is the only time the NDers ever took one in Je me souviens land. So, why did they win in Outremont? Apart from the qualities of the candidates, which I am not in a position to comment on, one could easily conclude that Layton's robust attack on the government's Afghanistan policy must have had an impact - and therefore a bright Amber light for Steve Harper.
For the Grits, it must have been a disappointment to lose Outremont. And for the Conservatives, the win in Roberval and the gain in Saint-Hyacinthe must have felt good. But their dismal performance in Outremont will give them pause.
The two leading parties - Grits and Conservatives - have more work to do in Quebec before they roll the dice and plummet the country into another General Election.