General elections are an opportunity to elect a representative in each of the 125 electoral divisions (ridings) in Québec, which electors will then be represented at the National Assembly. The Election Act requires that the electoral period last between 33 and 39 days.
On June 14, 2013, the National Assembly adopted the Act to amend the Election Act for the purpose of establishing fixed-date elections (Bill no. 3). Now, general elections will be held on the first Monday in October of the fourth calendar year following the previous elections.
The election date may be postponed according to the conditions and formalities provided by the Act in case of an overlap of the election period with that expected for the next federal or municipal general election. The Act also grants the Chief Electoral Officer the power to postpone the date of an election for a week if a major disaster or another serious and unforeseeable situation arises.
However, this modification of the Election Act does not affect the power of the Lieutenant-Governor to dissolve the National Assembly before the end of the four years. Indeed, at the request of the government, the Lieutenant-Governor may end the mandate of MNAs and order the holding of general elections. In this case, it is the premier who gets to choose the date when the vote will be held.