Monday, November 30, 2009

New Léger Quebec Poll: 17-pt Bloc Lead

Le Devoir is reporting on a Léger Marketing poll of Quebec voters.The Bloc has a very strong lead, and is at their 2008 level. This score is inflated, however, by the weak Liberal number. They are tied with the Tories who are also at 2008 levels.

The New Democrats are riding high at 17%, while the Greens are at only 5%.

The francophone vote (which is the decider in the vast majority of Quebec ridings) is solidly Bloc, at 44%. The Conservatives follow at 20% (indicating they are still doing well in the Quebec City region) while the Liberals and NDP are at 16%.

In the Montreal region, the Bloc leads with 38%. The Liberals are down to 23%, the NDP is at 16%, and the Conservatives are at 15%. This means the Bloc will be able to hold on to what it has on the island, and will keep everything around it.

A bit of a surprise is that the Conservatives are back in the lead in the Quebec City region, with 38%. The Bloc follows with 26% and the NDP, not the Liberals, are third with 19%. The Liberals are at 12% there. So, it will be a Tory-Bloc contest in the old capital, but the Tories have the advantage - and a surprisingly big one.

In terms of seats, this would give the Bloc 50, the Liberals 14, the Conservatives 9, and the NDP 2.

None of this is new for Quebec, however. The Bloc has been steady for almost the entire year, while the Liberals have lost some ground and the Conservatives are back where they were a year ago. The NDP is making some strides forward, but whether that will translate into actual votes is another question.


  1. These numbers are very similar to the last CROP poll in Quebec which was released in late October (speaking of which, CROP ought to be due for a November poll!).

    Its interesting that the Liberals are tied with the NDP at 16%% for third place in among francophones - kinda confirms the trend we saw in Hochelaga.

    Its also interesting that once again, the Quebec only polls by CROP and Leger always seem to have the NDP much higher than the national polls.

    Since the Le Devoir article is for subscribers only - does anyone have access to more numbers from this poll like regional breaks in Quebec or Best PM.

  2. Léger is usually pretty good with updating their website, so I'm sure they will have the full details in a day or two. If there is anything new or interesting in those details, I'll post about it. I'll try to include a link to the full details as well when they are available.

  3. Its interesting to speculate on what would happen to the NDP vote in Quebec if it actually did go as high 17% (compared to 12% in the last election). The problem for the NDP is that some of their relatively strong showings were in super-safe BQ seats like Repentigny where you get a Hochelaga like phenomenon. A poll like this has the BQ way ahead with almost a threeway tie for second place between the NDP, Liberals and Tories - but when it comes to seats, the Liberals have their guaranteed 10 seats or so thanks to their stranglehold on the non-francophone vote and Tories can probably get at least half a dozen because of their concentration of support in the Quebec City/Lower St. Lawrence area. The NDP has no comparable concentration. So IF (I repeat IF), the NDP went up into the high teens in Quebec, what low-hanging fruit would there be (if any). The most obvious think to say is that Outremont would be an easy hold and that Gatineau would be a very likely pick-up - but then what? I suppose Hull-Aylmer would be another seats with a strong NDP vote last time (20%)and where there is a potential for a good four way split in the vote - and the weak Liberal incumbent is the reptilean Marcel Proulx. Otherwise it will all depend on getting some big name candidate who can be a game changer in some unexpected place.

  4. The Leger website now has all the details of the poll. Its interesting that the Tories and the ADQ still retain a lot of support in Quebec City. The ADQ in particular now is nothing but a Quebec City party!

    I've never really understood why Quebec City of all places would be such a stronghold for the ADQ and the CPC. It would be easy to explain if those parties were doing really well in rural Quebec in those areas that were historically Creditiste and Union nationale strongholds - but Quebec City is a city and on top of that being the provincial capital it's a government town - so its hard to see why people would want to support parties that have ideologies that are hostile to the number one local industry - government.

  5. You're projecting 2 NDP seats. I'm going to guess that the first one is Outremont, since the NDP currently hold it anyway. As for the other one, it's most likely Gatineau, where they had a strong second place showing in 2008.

  6. Yes, that is my view. I believe Boivin will be running again, so they have a chance. If she doesn't run, I don't know if they will still have a chance.

  7. Boivin is definitely running again. She has been nominated and has a website etc...

  8. Was this poll taken after the new Green deputy leader Jacques Rivard was announced?

  9. I think it happened somewhere near the end of the polling period, didn't it? I don't imagine this will make much of a difference, he is replacing a different Quebecois deputy leader.

  10. What was the popular vote in the '08 election in the Quebec City CMA and the Montreal CMA so we can see how much of a change these numbers represent? I ask because, I wonder if the gap between the BQ and the Liberals in Montreal is a lot wider than last year and this could spell trouble for Justin Trudeau and Alaxandra Mendes who each won their seats by very narrow margins.

  11. DL asked:

    "What was the popular vote in the '08 election in the Quebec City CMA and the Montreal CMA ... ?"

    For greater Montreal, the vote shares in the 2008 general election were:

    Bloc: 36.3%
    Liberal: 30.1%
    Conservative: 15.7%
    NDP: 13.5%
    Green: 4.0%

  12. Eric,

    "In terms of seats, this would give the Bloc 50, the Liberals 14, the Conservatives 9, and the NDP 2."

    So does this sound about right:

    The Liberals are keeping the 14 seats they currently have, the NDP gets Gatineau from the BQ.

    The BQ take Portneuf – Jacques-Cartier from Andre Arthur.

    And the BQ takes 2 from the Conservatives, reducing them from their current 11 to 9.

    I guess it would be 2 of these seats:

    Roberval – Lac-Saint-Jean, Cons +3.8%

    Beauport – Limoilou, Cons + 4.2%

    Gaspésie-Bas-Saint-Laurent, Cons + 5%.

    So this poll has the BQ up 1.8% the CPC down 1.7% from last election. That should reduce the spread by 3.5% assuming even distribution of support.

    But that still means the Conservatives keep all their seats.

    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with your projections on this one.

  13. Eric,

    But do you think I might have a point?

    Especially since we're not even seeing even distribution in this poll.

    According to this poll the Cons are losing support in Montreal and gaining it outside relative to '08. This tells me their vote is getting more efficient and they'll have an easier time holding on to their seats even with slightly lower numbers.

    And the BQ gains seem to be centered in Montreal.

  14. I'm not sure what your point is. More than a few of the 11 ridings currently held by the Tories could go to the Bloc. When we're talking about a handful of points +/-, then anything can happen.

    This poll showed that the Bloc still has strong support in "the rest of Quebec", which would include the two Saguenay ridings and the Bas-St-Laurent riding currently held by the Conservatives. The Conservatives in the "rest of Quebec" were polling as well as the Liberals.

    So the idea of the Bloc picking up two seats from the Conservatives is not unthinkable.

  15. Éric is right. Since the distribution of vote change is not even, any one of a number of close CPC ridings could slip from their grasp, just as the reverse could also be true.

    Remember, a projection is not a prediction. If I project that the Conservatives will lose two seats, that projection being accurate means only that the loss of those two seats is the most likely outcomes, regardless of whether those seats are actually lost.

  16. "For greater Montreal, the vote shares in the 2008 general election were:

    Bloc: 36.3%
    Liberal: 30.1%
    Conservative: 15.7%
    NDP: 13.5%
    Green: 4.0%"

    That means that this poll has the gap between the BQ and the Liberals in Montreal growing from 6 points to 15 points. If that held on election day the Liberals would lose Papineau (bye-bye Justin Trudeau) and Brossard-LaPrairie to the BQ. I think the rest of the Liberals seats in Montreal are too non-francophone for them to ever lose.

  17. Why would the CPC return to 2008 be a shock to anyone?

    The media, pundits who get 90% of the details and predictions wrong?

    Denis Coderre left early to avoid blame for the QC results.

    Dion's wife, pegged the party and it future quite well.

    Charest has made his pick and with the ADQ dead they are free to divide the spoils.

    The Premiers agreed in January to spend Billions in EAP. The fortunes for the Premiers and the PM are closely interconnected.

    Let's hope the NDP can bleed enough votes for a larger CPC majority.

  18. If the NDP takes more votes it will help PREVENT a Conservative majority since they would then win a bunch of Tory seats in BC, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

  19. Eric,

    I didn't say it was unthinkable for those ridings to shift.

    I just said all things being equal the Conservatives should have a 1 or 2 point advantage in the two ridings I listed and Roberval – Lac-Saint-Jean is basically a toss up.

    So I respectfully maintain my disagreement with your interpretation of this poll and we'll leave it at that.

    I know your model doesn't do regional projections but what do you think about what DL is saying ?

    Could some Liberal ridings be in danger in Montreal.

    That does seem like a really big margin opening up, compared to '08, according to this poll.

  20. Definitely, being down four points throughout the province and being down in this region in particular makes several central Montreal ridings difficult to hold. It makes Outremont much easier for the NDP to hold, allows the Bloc to gain the Monteregie riding, and puts Gatineau and Hull-Aylmer at risk of going to the NDP or the Bloc.

    But, as always, local factors can play an unpredictable role. The Liberal vote in Quebec over the last two elections has been reduced to bare-bones. Most of these are ridings that have voted Liberal for decades. It is hard to get people out of that habit.

  21. DL,

    By "a bunch" you mean four. If the NDP does 2 or 3 points better than their '08 results they could potentially take four CPC seats in the region you described.

    In BC there are two seats the NDP could take from the Conservatives. (I know, I know, I know you consider a +8% CPC advantage in Kamloops a "toss up" but lets be serious for a second.)

    The NDP don't have a shot in hell at anything in Sask except Saskatoon.

    In Nova the CPC has 3 safe seats and the NDP could potentially grab South Shore – St. Margaret's.

  22. Even that is significant. Four seats fewer puts them 14 away from majority. Finding 14 seats will be difficult.

  23. DL,

    If the NDP gain 5 seats that would be GREAT news.

    The CPC are not chasing 5 seats, they are

    a) keeping enough of a gap to prevent the NDP+Lib coalition to reform.
    b) Gaining a majority if LPOC collapse in Ontario 905.

  24. If the Conservatives have a major seat breakthrough in the 905 - it will be because the Liberal vote drops further and a lot of it goes Tory - apart from Oshawa, the NDP is not a factor in the 905 seats - if the Liberals lose more seats there to the Tories it won't be because of the NDP making gains. People who are lazy and don't look at the riding by riding results come to this superficial conclusion that if the NDP gains ground it automatically means that Liberal seats will get thrown to the Tories. Its never that simple, first of all there are more Tory-NDP switchers than anyone wants to acknowledge. Second of all the NDP vote tends to concentrate in particular places and in Ontario you will note that almost all the ridings where the NDP is competitive are also ridings where the Tories are not a factor (ie: the rust belt, the north and downtown Toronto).

    Liberals have got to stop trying to blame the NDP for the fact that they keep losing elections. In the last two elections, way more of the votes that the Liberals lost went Tory than went NDP - so maybe the Liberal party needs to take a long hard look in the mirror and stop blaming everyone else for its bad results.

  25. Jesse wrote:

    "According to this poll the Cons are losing support in Montreal and gaining it outside relative to '08. This tells me their vote is getting more efficient..."

    I'm not sure I follow your reasoning.

    The Tories are basically stable in greater Montreal compared with the last election (2008: 15.7%, this poll: 15%).

    The Tories' overall number in Quebec is basically stable, or down marginally, since the last election (2008: 21.7%, this poll: 20%).

    If anything, it looks like the Tories' Quebec-outside-Montreal number has dropped by a slightly larger (albeit still marginal) amount than their Montreal-region number has.

  26. Eric,

    Sure but a stronger NDP might help take out some Liberal seats around Vancouver and Toronto so its not a huge worry.

    A strong NDP has been official Harper policy for awhile now, to help keep the Liberals in a weak position.

    In fact, i'm sure he's hoping for a convergence of the NDP-Liberal numbers and a total re-alignment on the opposition side of the bench.

    NDP becoming a contender for official opposition or a unite the left campaign would be Harper's dream - grab a majority in the chaos!

  27. DL,

    why would the LPOC stop blaming the NDP?

    The house that jack built is so funny. I remind the Liberals, the CPC could not have a better cheerleader than MI. He only showed his teeth once and it cost him 3%. I am hoping he declares again Harper's time is up before XMAS.

    It would make many of us happy to see the Liberals hit 20% before the New Year.

  28. If the NDP actually got into the low 20s (i.e. 22-23% nationally) and started to seriously threaten the Liberals, the NDP would also be a major threat to about FIVE Tory seats in BC, three in Saskatchewan, another one in Alberta, Oshawa, and the aforementioned seat in Nova Scotia and maybe more. Be careful about wishing for something, it might happen. It all depends on where the NDP gains would be and which party they came from.

  29. DL,

    It is unrealistic to expect growth across Canada evenly.

    I have said 5 seats is attainable.

    I have also said the 905 collapse where the LPOC are weaker.

    I also laugh for some who insist the CPC must get a majority or the PM must resign.

    In the next election we need enough to block to NDP Lib coalition that's it.

    The Bills may be taking longer to pass but in January 2010 the Liberals will no longer have control of the senate.

    It is so funny. The math requires a collapse of the LPOC.

    Without that collapse I don't see a majority at the expense of the Bloc.

  30. DL,

    Check pundits guide please before making crazy claims.

    In Sask the second closest riding was a 10 point Conservative victory. Followed by a 20 point victory.

    So assuming the NDP reach 23% points you'd claiming they are a "major threat" in a +15% advantage Con riding ?

  31. Its all hypothetical at this stage, but it was only a few years ago that that the NDP won 5 seats in Saskatchewan and was close in a couple more. If NDP support actually did surge that much across Canada - its not outside the realm of possibility that they would start winning back seats they used to have in Sask.

    It helps that Brad Wall has been exposed as a fraud whose 1 billion surplus suddenly turned into a 1 billion deficit - and he's now the laughing stock of the province. When the previous Tory Premier - Grant Devine - ran the province into the ground, the NDP prompty won 10 out of 14 seats there!

    Things can change fast in politics, Look at the 10 seats the Tories took in Quebec in 2006 - in 2004, they were not even remotely close in any of them.

  32. DL asked:

    "What was the popular vote in the '08 election in the Quebec City CMA and the Montreal CMA ... ?"

    I answered earlier about Montreal.

    On Quebec City, while I couldn't find a pre-calculated Quebec-City CMA number, it is easy enough to approximate with the 6 ridings that roughly correspond to the CMA (the 5 Quebec City ridings plus Lévis—Bellechasse).

    In those six ridings taken together, the 2008 election vote-percentage for the Conservatives was 37.3%.

    And this poll is reporting 38% for the Conservatives in the Quebec City CMA.

    Not much change it seems.

  33. If I'm not mistaken, Portneuf-Jacques Cartier is also considered to be a Quebec City CMA seat.

  34. Apologies for doing this piece-meal.

    Here are the full results (2008 general election, popular vote) for the six Quebec City CMA ridings that I mentioned earlier:

    Conservative: 37.3%
    Bloc: 32.0%
    Liberal: 16.5%
    NDP: 11.2%

    In other words, using this rough comparison, the current Leger poll shows the Tories stable, the Bloc down several points, the Liberals down a few points, and the NDP up nearly 8 points.

    (Regarding DL's observation about Portneuf-Jacques Cartier: I believe that only a small portion of the riding is within the Quebec City CMA. In any case, this six-riding calculation is only an approximation since riding boundaries don't perfectly match CMA boundaries.)

  35. Martin,

    "If anything, it looks like the Tories' Quebec-outside-Montreal number has dropped by a slightly larger (albeit still marginal) amount than their Montreal-region number has."

    I was talking about vote efficiency, so I was refering to changes in the places in Quebec where they actually have seats. Slightly up in the Quebec city region is a good sign.

    Unfortunately there isn't any polling for other population centres, they just use the term Rest of Quebec.

    To make the math add up (-.7% in Quebec, +8.1% QC, -X% Rest of Quebec = -1.7% all of Quebec must mean there is a major drop in one of the other regions.

    Also keep in mind this would all have to be adjusted to population.

    With such marginal differences all of this is probably margin of error territory.

    However, the changes in Quebec city are certainly significant.

  36. Martin,

    Do you know how Leger defines Quebec City?

    Is it just the city proper or the entire Capitale-Nationale?

    If its the latter then pundits guide defines it as the following seats:

    1) Beauport – Limoilou
    2) Charlesbourg – Haute-Saint-Charles
    3) Louis-Hébert
    4) Louis-Saint-Laurent
    5) Montmorency – Charlevoix – Haute-Côte-Nord
    6) Portneuf – Jacques-Cartier
    7) Québec

  37. I strongly suspect that Leger uses quite a broad definition of what constitutes Quebec City CMA since they seem to do about 250 out of 1000 interviews in the whole province there (which is a big oversample). The list of ridings in pundit guide sounds about right except that it seems to only count ridings on the north shore of the St. Lawrence. I would also count Levis on the south shore since that is for all intents and purposes very much a part of Quebec City CMA in the same way that North Vancouver is part of the Vancouver CMA!

    In calculating the popular vote in the region from 2008 - if you include Portneuf, i guess the dsimplest solution is to count the Andre Arthur vote as a de facto Tory vote.

  38. In fact, even Lotbiniere-Chute de la Chaudiere could be considered to be largely Quebec City suburbs on the south shore of the river.

  39. Jesse wrote:

    "Do you know how Leger defines Quebec City?"

    I don't have any inside knowledge or anything like that, however the Leger report actually uses the term 'Quebec RMR' rather than something more vague like 'region'.

    So, my working assumption is that they are in fact using the Statistics Canada definition for CMA/RMR, which I am pretty sure is solely Quebec City plus Lévis. Of course, I cannot _guarantee_ that Leger is not misusing the CMA/RMR terminology.

    DL wrote:

    "since they seem to do about 250 out of 1000 interviews in the whole province there (which is a big oversample..."

    But we know, for example, that Ekos will sometimes oversample certain cities in order to get a meaningful subset and then reweight everything when producing provincial or national totals. I suspect Leger is doing something similar here.

    Otherwise one would have to interpret 'Quebec CMA' in such a broad way that a quarter of the population of the province would be included. That would mean nearly 20 ridings and I don't think anyone would reasonably count such a large set.

  40. "It helps that Brad Wall has been exposed as a fraud whose 1 billion surplus suddenly turned into a 1 billion deficit - and he's now the laughing stock of the province."

    You better take a walk through Sask....

    75% think the province is on the right track
    30+% lead in the horse race (2 poits short of 50%)
    Best person to lead province... 60%

    That was all done before this business with potash selling less than 5% of what they sold in previous years.

    Brad wall the laughing stock?? Maybe if you are watching from the moon.

  41. Polls in Saskatchewan from before the economic update and the exposure of TOTAL Sask. party incompetence and lying - are worthless.

    Everyone warned that the price of potash was crashing and Wall and his flunkies choose to pay no attention and keep spending like drunken sailors oan all kinds "bridge to no where" crap. Its all just like the Devine days.

  42. The price of potash didn't crash... Potash corp artificially tried to hold it up (being one of the largest producers in the world).

    And based on the price they asked.. they sold almost nothing. 100 million out of 1.9 billion was transferred to the government in royalties.

    But while we are talking about potash and the government.... 100 million is more than the government used to get when it was a crown corporation. When the NDP ran it with their wonderful business acumen.... PCS net sales were only 300 million. Last year the royalties from sales was over 2 and a half billion. The difference? the private sector bent on building the company instead of bleeding it dry.

    I have asked you before.... even with the warning about potash prices. Could you have predicted that sales would drop more than 95%?.....

    I know most Saskatchewanians don't think anybody could. Far from being a laughing stock, Brad wall is more popular than ever.

  43. EVERYONE was telling Wall that his revenue projections were absurd (the opposition, economists, the media EVERYONE)- and he just ignored them - and now he's driving the province towards bankruptcy.

    Its quite amusing how when rightwing government drive economies into bankruptcy and prove themselves to be totally fiscally incompetent - they raise their hands like kids caught with their hand in a cookie jar and say "its not our fault NOBODY could have predicted a fall in commodity prices" - except that everyone did predict it and Premier Wall paid no attention while doling out vast amounts of money on crap.

  44. They seem to be numerically challenged in Sask. They can't count players in a football game let alone count the money.

  45. Since Potash Corp does own 80% of the world's excess potash supply, it made some sense for them to try taking profits.

    The problem was that the world economy went to hell and foreign demand for resources fell. Just as it did for all other Canadian exports.

    But regardless, there's no denying that the Saskatchewan economy has grown by leaps and bounds since Wall took over. The population is growing. This fall, two towns became cities - the first time two towns have become cities in the SAME YEAR since 1913.

    Saskatchewan is way ahead of where they were when Wall took office. And Lingenfelter's policy ideas would look draconian to Trudeau.

  46. "there's no denying that the Saskatchewan economy has grown by leaps and bounds since Wall took over. "

    I'm denying it! The Saskatchewan economy actually started booming in a major way during the last couple of years that Calvert was in power, Wall came to power just as the boom was cresting and all he had to do was coast after the NDP had done all the heavy lifting. Its only now that the chickens are coming home to roost from Wall's fiscal irresponsibility.


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