Running for office in the November 3 municipal elections - The Chief Electoral Officer provides an update of nominations for office in municipalities with 5,000 or more residents

October 11, 2013

Quebec City, October 11, 2013 – More candidates but fewer political parties than in 2009 are seeking electors’ votes in the run-up to the general elections of November 3, 2013 in municipalities with over 5,000 residents, according to the latest update provided by the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec at the close of the nomination period on Friday October 4. Fewer than 30 percent of all candidates are women in the 184 municipalities reviewed by the Chief Electoral Officer, and most are over 50 years of age.

The Chief Electoral Officer especially focuses on municipalities with 5,000 or more residents since they are subject to the rules governing contributions and election expenses stipulated in Chapter XIII of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities (AERM). It is incumbent upon the Chief Electoral Officer to enforce these rules for the November 3 general elections in the 184 municipalities, comprising 88 percent of Québec’s population, to which they apply.

Political parties

Up until now, 180 municipal political parties have been authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer, the first prerequisite for their existence, as compared to 194 parties for the municipal general elections of 2009. Hence there are fewer authorized parties in 2013 than four years ago, even though twice as many applications for authorization were filed in 2013 than in 2009. It is therefore clear that the number of political parties shrank considerably during the three years preceding this election year, with 119 in existence at the end of 2012. Only a late flurry of applications led to our finally having a number of parties relatively comparable to 2009.

As of now, there are political parties in 85 of 184 municipalities with 5,000 or more residents where elections will be held on November 3. The average life span of a political party at the municipal level is six years, and the longest-standing authorization granted by the Chief Electoral Officer is held by Équipe Robitaille, in Terrebonne, which has been authorized since 1985.


A total de 1,728 candidate are running for office under the banner of authorized political parties in the 2013 general elections, as compared to 1,767 party candidates in 2009, a decline of approximately two percent for this year.

However, for municipalities with 5,000 or more residents taken as a whole, the total number of candidates has risen by 13 percent as compared to the elections of 2009. This year, 4,089 electors filed nomination papers, while 3,616 did so four years ago.

For its part, the number of authorized independent candidates increased by 30 percent compared to the last municipal general elections. These candidates without party affiliation use their authorization to collect contributions and incur election expenses in the run-up to the November 3 elections. The Chief Electoral Officer already noted a sharp rise (+ 63 percent) in applications for authorization prior to the election period, which began onSeptember 20, 2013. These individuals had committed to running as authorized independent candidates and wanted to begin to collect contributions and incur election expenses to promote their future candidacy earlier this year. In fact, the significant increase in authorized independent candidates explains the larger number of people running for office, given that the municipal political parties are fielding slightly fewer candidates than they did four years ago.

It should be noted that 105 independent candidates have not yet filed for authorization for the upcoming elections, as compared to 113 in 2009, suggesting that for the moment they do not intend to incur expenses to promote their candidacy.

The returning officer of the City ofMontrealreceived 485 nominations, 85 more than in 2009 (an increase of 21 percent).Lavalhas witnessed a rise of 133 percent, with 147 nominations in 2013, compared to 63 in 2009. 

Men and women

In the 184 municipalities governed by Chapter XIII of the AERM, there are 1,163 female candidates, representing 28 percent of all those running for office in these municipalities, including 91 women running for mayor and 1,072 for the position of councillor. In 2009, 75 women ran for mayor and 865 for municipal councillor, i.e.  26 percent of all candidates. In 2013, 35 percent of party candidates are women, as compared to 24 percent of authorized independent candidates.

Candidates’ age

In municipalities with 5,000 or more residents, over half (55 percent) of candidates are between 50 and 70 years of age, whereas 30 percent belong to the 35-50 year-old age bracket and only 10 percent are under 35 years of age. Six candidates for office on November 3 are under 20 years old.

For a complete picture of the nominations in the 1,103 municipalities holding elections on November 3, please consult the data compiled by the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire (MAMROT) found on its website at


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Categories : Municipal, DGE, Elections - general and RCMs 2013

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