The promises have been made, the hands have been shaken, the issues debated. It's time to vote! If you live in Quebec and haven't already, you have until 20h00 tonight to vote, and you probably have exactly what you need to identify yourself if you bring your wallet/purse.
My projections have been made, and tonight we get to find out whether they are on the mark. But aside from that, there are a few stories worth following:
1) Will Mario Dumont have enough support for the ADQ to remain a recognised party in the National Assembly? Polls have been showing the ADQ in the mid-teens, and my projection puts them at four seats and about 16%. To be a recognised party, the ADQ needs 20% support or 12 seats. That might be out of range, which would be a tremendous fall from grace after Dumont won 41 seats and 31% support in 2007. If the polls are right, has the ADQ vote concentrated enough to turn 15% into 12 seats? Or are the polls wrong? I'd give the following odds on this issue:
ADQ remains a recognised party in the National Assembly - 4:1
ADQ wins 20% - 5:1
ADQ wins 12 seats - 3:1
2) Will Jean Charest win his majority? Charest launched the election for this very reason, claiming the National Assembly was unworkable. My projection says Charest will win a majority, and most of the polls have shown the same thing. Angus Reid's poll, however, makes it a little closer. But, if Charest doesn't win a majority that would be the biggest surprise of the night.
PLQ wins a majority - 5:4
3) Will Pauline Marois significantly improve on the PQ's 2007 performance? With the polls relatively stable since 2007, few people expected Marois to form government right away. Her more pragmatic objective has to be to significantly improve on André Boisclair's 28% and 36 MNAs. Only one recent poll has the PQ near 28% (CROP's recent 29%), and it seems impossible that the PQ could win less than 40 seats with the fall of the ADQ. Tonight's result will answer a few questions about Marois as PQ leader, since both the PLQ and PQ are benefiting from the fall of the ADQ more than any of their own qualities. If Marois gets less than 32%, I'd say she has not helped the PQ whatsoever. If she gets over 34%, she will have been a net positive for the PQ.
PQ forms government - 8:1
PQ earns less than 32% - 4:1
PQ earns more than 34% - 3:1
4) Will Québec solidaire elect an MNA? Françoise David and Amir Khadir have not been in the news a lot, but they have been in the news much more than the PVQ. This will undoubtedly help them eat into a few of the PVQ and PQ votes. One thing to watch for tonight will be whether QS improves on its 2007 performance. I'm projecting they will. But more interesting will be to see if David will be elected in Gouin and/or Khadir in Mercier. They performed very well in 2007, but the PQ is also improving its national score. It is definitely possible, however, and I think this could be the big news on Tuesday morning.
QS improves on 2007 - 3:2
Khadir elected in Mercier - 3:1
David elected in Gouin - 4:1
5) Will the Parti vert do as well as in 2007? Guy Rainville, I'd have to say, has not been nearly as successful as Scott McKay was in 2007 in winning attention for the PVQ. It will be interesting to watch if the PVQ can keep its fourth position in Quebec politics, but considering it is far more likely we'll see a QS MNA than a PVQ MNA, I'd say that is unlikely.
PVQ improves on 2007 - 2:1
PVQ gains more support than QS - 3:1
PVQ elects an MNA - 10:1
6) Will voter turnout take a tumble? We've had a federal election, an American presidential election that drew great attention, the action in Ottawa, and now another election. Will Quebec continue its voter-turnout slide? Quebec had a turnout of about 70% in 2007, which is extremely low for Quebec. Will this dip into the 60s?
60%-65% turnout - 3:1
65%-70% turnout - 3:2
70%-75% turnout - 4:1