Duceppe steps down in resounding Bloc defeat

Bloc leader loses seat and power base in Quebec. (Gilles-Duceppe_Bloc)

Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe says he will step down as the leader of his party.

The party will meet Tuesday to decide what steps it will take after the longtime leader of the separatist party in the House of Commons lost his seat to the NDP and witnessed his party reduced to three seats in Parliament. At dissolution, the Bloc held 47 seats.

Just after midnight, May 2-3, with two-thirds of the polls reporting in Laurier-Sainte-Marie riding, Duceppe had earned 15,000 votes, behind the New Democrats’ Helene Laverdiere with 20,000 votes.

Duceppe says even though he’s leaving politics, the Bloc is not done.

“I’m leaving, but others will follow until Quebec becomes a country,” he said.

Despite holding the seat for more than 20 years, Duceppe says he takes full responsibility for the defeat.

“Democracy has spoken. I respect its voice,” he said.