For a brief period, a number of political analysts predicted that the ADQ could gather as much as 42% of the vote and more than 80 seats in the National Assembly, which would have been enough for a strong majority.The increased popularity of the party provided the ADQ with larger grassroots support, more money and star candidates for the subsequent election.In April and June 2002, voter dissatisfaction with both the Parti Québécois (PQ) government of Bernard Landry and the Liberal alternative presented by Jean Charest led the ADQ to an unexpected victory in a series of by-elections, bringing the party caucus to five members.
In the 1995 Quebec referendum on the Parti Québécois government's proposals for sovereignty, Dumont campaigned for the "Yes" side, in favour of the sovereignty option.
However, in subsequent election campaigns, he has promised a moratorium on the sovereignty question, which earned him accusations of not having a clear and honest stand on the constitution question.
Its members were referred to as adéquistes, a name derived from the French pronunciation of the initials 'ADQ'.
The party was founded by dissidents of the Quebec Liberal Party who did not accept the Charlottetown Accord, and first contested the 1994 provincial election, electing Mario Dumont to the National Assembly.
The ADQ drew enough votes from previous PQ supporters to give the victory to Jean Charest's Liberals, but did not make a significant breakthrough in the National Assembly.
In the months that followed the election, the ADQ benefited from anger over the decision of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) not to renew the license of Quebec City radio station CHOI-FM.
Led by Jean Allaire, an attorney from Laval and author of the Allaire Report, and Mario Dumont, a rising political star who had been President of the Liberal Youth Commission, the dissidents founded the ADQ.
Allaire became the first party leader, but resigned within a few months for health reasons.
He was succeeded by Mario Dumont, who retained the leadership until early 2009.
Shortly before the 1994 provincial election, Yvon Lafrance, a one-term Liberal backbencher who served under Premier Robert Bourassa, switched parties to join the ADQ, becoming the party's first sitting member of the legislature.
All ADQ incumbents and star candidates, except Dumont, were defeated.