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Independence dreams fade as Quebec separatists crushed in provincial vote

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Independence dreams fade as Quebec separatists crushed in provincial vote

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The prospect of Quebec becoming independent from Canada may be pushed into the wilderness for several years after anti-separatists won a resounding victory in provincial elections.

The Quebec Liberal Party won over 40 percent of the vote, crushing the separatist Parti Québécois which had led a minority government.

The liberal leader Philippe Couillard is set to become the province’s prime minister.

“We are all Quebecers, we should all focus on what brings us together. What unites us makes us stronger,” he told supporters.

The election in the mainly French-speaking province had turned into a referendum on whether to hold another vote on secession from Canada.

The separatists went into the campaign leading the polls but finished way behind as voters made it clear they rejected the idea of another divisive ballot on sovereignty.

The leader of the separatist Parti Québécois Pauline Marois, who had been state premier, has said she is resigning as party chief.