Monday, March 22, 2010

PQ opens up six point lead

Léger Marketing released a new provincial poll a week ago. It shows a statistically significant gap between the Parti Québécois and the provincial Liberals, something we haven't seen in awhile.However, not all is roses for the PQ. They are down two points to 38%, but a five point drop by the PLQ to 32% puts the PQ firmly in the lead.

Québec Solidaire has gained four points and is at 10%, while the Action Démocratique du Québec has gained one point to 10%. The Parti Vert gained one and is at 7%.

Among francophones, who decide the vast majority of seats in Quebec, the PQ is still well in the lead with 45%, though down three points from Léger's February poll. The Liberals have dropped four points to 25% among this demographic. QS is up three to 10%, the ADQ up two to 11%.

Among non-francophones, the PLQ continues to lead with 67%. QS follows with 9%, then the PVQ with 8% and the PQ with 7%.

In and around Montreal, the PLQ leads with 38%, followed closely by the PQ at 35%. QS is at 11%.

In and around Quebec City, the PLQ also leads with 35%, followed by the PQ at 28%. The ADQ has virtually all of its support here, as they have 24% in the region.

In the rest of Quebec, the PQ dominates with 45% to the PLQ's 25%.

Only 24% of Quebecers are satisfied with the government, down nine points since February. The issues in Quebec concerning corruption in the construction industry, questions about political financing, and perhaps even the resurgence of the accommodemants raisonnables issue all seem to be hurting the Liberals.

Pauline Marois of the PQ is now the favourite for premier, with 24% (unchanged since February). Jean Charest of the PLQ has fallen eight points to 20%. Amir Khadir of QS is at 9% and Gérard Deltell, leader of the ADQ, has dropped one point to 6%. That seems to indicate that Deltell is not becoming better liked as Quebecers get to know him better.

Thanks to strong results around Montreal and Quebec City, the PLQ manage to win 50 seats. But, the PQ still forms government with 68 seats. The ADQ win five seats around Quebec City and QS elect two MNAs on the island of Montreal.

From a federal perspective, it is always good news for the Bloc Québécois when the PQ is doing well. They share the same voters. And with QS at 10%, a full 48% of Quebecers are supporting sovereigntist parties. For the Liberals and Conservatives in Ottawa, it makes things difficult as the PLQ and the ADQ are both showing unpopularity. Obviously, both Ignatieff and Harper will stay away from Deltell. But now even Charest appears to be problematic as a working partner.

Nevertheless, Charest seems to have as many lives as a cat, and he could turn things around before the 2012-2013 election - if he decides to run again. If not, the PQ could have a relatively easy time as there is no heir apparent among provincial Liberals.


  1. These low ADQ numbers and low PLQ numbers can't be good for the Conservative machinery inside Quebec.

    Just remember folks; all major Tory/Conservative victories inside Quebec came to fruition because of powerful provincial machines. Be it the Union Nationale with Diefenbaker, or the sovereigntists with Mulroney, or with Harper, the ADQ and PLQ conservative establishments. Once those machine start to whither, be wary.

  2. And yet volkov.... The Bloc has not really caught their 2008 result of 38.1% in polling in recent memory.

    The liberals seem to have a little more life up 3-4%, and the NDP.

    Depending on the pollster. The tories may not be that far off the low 20's they need to maintain all their seats.

    To me it looks like it would be pretty close to the results of last election.... Far be it from withering and dieing.

  3. Barcs,

    As far as I'm aware, most of the polling done so far has the Conservatives in the low-to-mid-teens. Going by Eric's current projection, they've lost about 3%, while the Bloc 0.2% That seems to be a bit of withering to me.

    But that is besides the point still. The Conservatives relied on provincial machines to get their votes in Quebec, both historically and as we just saw recently in the by-election in Riviere-du-Loup. If the provincial machine start going down, so will federal Conservative fortunes, unless the Conservatives can retain some power there, which I wouldn't bet on.

  4. This could explain why Charest is busy attacking the Federal Government.

    Instead of working on the serious problems in his own backyard using Ottawa as the whipping boy is a favourit pastime from certain provincial governments.

  5. Liberal comments on detainee issue:

  6. CanadianSense,

    Certain provinces? Try all.

    From BC to NL, from Stelmach to Dexter - Ottawa is the whipping boy for the ages.

  7. Volkov,

    Reality vs Perception from Premiers.

    Billions from

    C)regional adjustments

    for over a decade?

    Try something different let taxpayers in provinces keep more of their own money and let their province tax it for their own provincial priorities.

  8. Volkov your analysis seems flawed.

    A machine wouldn't turn up in public polling.

    It would turn up on election day turnout. The last data point seems to have been a success for the CPC.

    And remember machines are powered by their most loyal supporters. PLQ and ADQ are at 42% combined support which is actually quite a high number.

    Most likely the support lost in public polling is going to be from swing voters, not hardcore supporters.

    Hard to draw any conclusions about the strength of the CPC machine in Quebec.

  9. Eric,

    Off topic

    When are you putting up the Manitoba numbers?

  10. 49 Steps and DL, probably this week.

  11. Great link Earl.

    Nice to know there are sensible Libs,(on this issue), out there.

    The money quote:

    "I don’t recall Dosanjh expressing any concerns for detainees when he was a Liberal Minister in the Paul Martin Cabinet that expanded our Afghan mission."

    Hmmm, hard to argue that.

    The self-rightousness must be a new development.

  12. Volkov direct transfers from provincial parties to the feds are illegal.

    So the only issue i'd really see is volunteer strength and donor fatigue.

    The proximity of the provincial and federal elections will, of course, be the determining factor with that.

    But that strikes at all parties including the PQ/BQ.

    Realistically what will hurt the CPC in the next election will be the CPC's numbers being lower in Quebec, not the PLQs or ADQ's.

    But remember such polls won't take into effect the maturing strength of the Tory GOTV machine. Microtargeting, list building, voter contacts all that sort of stuff is finally starting to take shape in the Quebec shop.

  13. Shadow,

    I don't mean literal transfers, by the way.

    And to point out, GOTV is exactly what I mean - because the Conservative (they're not Tories!) machine, meaning its GOTV operation, is based on provincial machines working for them.

    It isn't any coincidence that the Conservatives do well in areas where the ADQ and PLQ do well - and isn't just "ideological compatibility." It's because the machines in these areas are powerful and energized, and are willing to work with the federal Conservatives because they can spare it. They won't be so willing if their numbers are tumbling.

  14. Volkov after Charest's betrayal during the last election it was decided that the CPC needed its own machine.

    That's why they moved the HQ from Montreal to Quebec city and they're running their own very well funded and sophisticated french language organization now.

    Tory GOTV isn't always based on provincial machines.

    Look at British Columbia. The provincial Liberals are neutral in federal politics at yet Harper won a majority of the seats.

    And its the CPC who are holding up the ADQ at this point, not the other way around.

    Volkov if this was the last two elections you'd be right. But things have come a long way.

    As I said, Eric's polls can't measure the maturing strength of a party's organization. If you're expecting a Quebec wipe out for the Tories in the next election you're in for a surprise.

  15. Volkov,

    You wish to paint all provinces with the same brush.

    All provinces are NOT equal.

    Valid criticism from Premiers is expected.

    Hypocritical actions on a Global stage, taking an active part in a federal campaign to drive down support for a federal party is NOT typical.

    Quebec and NL went over the top. Perpetual have-not provinces demanding special treatment will backfire.

    Quebec will discover the patience of blocking a majority is wearing thin. 57% of the ridings excluding Quebec sent the CPC to govern.

    The desperation of the Bloc is evident in fighting a rearguard action in labeling his movement as "resistance".

    The opposition continue to look ridiculous in fighting the recovery, the budget without any serious debate/alternatives in parliament.

    Instead we get shoe-gate, airport-gate, novelty cheque gate, logo gate, relay gate.

    Campaigning "that guy" is mean won't cut it.

  16. Shadow: A machine wouldn't turn up in public polling.

    It would turn up on election day turnout.

    A really good machine never stops working between elections. That's why you get those calls and emails from the CPC and probably from your EDA.

    (If you don't, something is odd.)

  17. Hi John. The Tory machine doesn't work by keeping high numbers.

    Its a base turnout strategy. Identify your voters, create a wedge issue or incentive so they support you, and then get them to the polls on election day.

    Use negative campaigning to drive down the other guy's turnout.

    In '08 Tory raw vote decreased slightly, Liberals decreased substantially.

    Voter fatigue is at the point where an election today would have record low turnout. We'd see a repeat of '08 with Tory's being the most enthusiastic to go to the polls.

  18. In November 2009 the ballot test showed the support was up.

    They won 50% of the seats. Including one in Quebec from the Bloc.

    (% of vote)
    Lib 14.8, NDP 24.5, Bloc 20.8,Grn 3.1, CPC 35.6

    In Quebec's 2 contests
    (% of vote)
    Lib 13.6, NDP 10.4, Bloc 42.8, Grn 2.3, CPC 30.2

    Green qualified 0/4 rebates, remind us about GOTV again and organizational facts?

  19. Shadow: The Tory machine doesn't work by keeping high numbers.

    Its a base turnout strategy. Identify your voters, create a wedge issue or incentive so they support you, and then get them to the polls on election day.

    Use negative campaigning to drive down the other guy's turnout.

    Um, with respect, nope. I infer from this that you're a CPC member and probable donor, but not otherwise active in the party organization between campaigns.

    How many CPC emails do you receive--one a week? Are you donating the maximum amount? Are you volunteering? The CPC would like more of your time and money.

    At an earlier point on the curve, the CPC will be emailing supporters who aren't members--yet. They want to nudge them into the fold. I don't get Tory outreach emails but from the general party messaging, I'm guessing they're heavy on the scary pedal. (The Tories spent years in the opposition wilderness where opposing is the order of the day, and they haven't yet realized that they're on the leadership side of the house.)

    An introductory level comes before that. The party want to reach out to people who don't even vote Tory yet, but are Tory-curious. If the writers are smart the messages they send will be toned down; signs of the apocalypse branded on red meat are turnoffs to those who haven't already consumed a side order of koolaid.

    Where does the party find the early-stagers? The contact info is recycled from earlier campaigns, harvested door-to-door, from "surveys" from your MP asking whether you support motherhood, and anywhere else it can be scraped.

    You can slice-and-dice much further. The Obama machine has a level of sophistication where messages are tailored to demographics of the recipient instead of just their relationship to the party, and the Tories may be approaching that today. I really should get myself on their list...

    Regardless, the election campaign is the last stage of the process. Parties that arrive after the writ drops have already missed the boat.

    Oh, and the better campaigns don't go negative. Positive works. There's a proof-by-example south of here.

  20. John direct mail is good for identifying donors and possible volunteers, not so much for creating new Tory voters.

    They're usually positive and from the local MP.

    We're the incumbent government. People who don't know about us by now are living under a rock. This isn't the early days.

    The good things we do that are reported on the evening news are the contact point for the Tory curious. Those "Canada's Economic Action Plan" ads contain references to specific tax breaks designed to appeal to voting blocs.

    The hate mail is indeed designed to depress Liberal or NDP turnout. For example the Israel stuff being sent to Jewish voters.

    Its not designed to woo over Jewish voters, that would be a hard sell. Its about making them stay home.

    Remember each opposition voter who stays home has the exact same effect as turning out one of your own voters.

    Certain groups aren't going to vote Tory no matter what. But if they can be driven out of the electoral process or into the arms of a fringe party the effect is worthwhile.

  21. Voter fatigue.....

    Media fallacy....

    Voter fatigue is a bunch of crap. Most people don't follow politics day to day. Many ignore it come the 30 day election. It culminates in a 10 minute drive, 10 mins to mark a ballot, then home... that is 30 mins. And for that 30 mins you must by law be allowed time to vote... so you get time off in many places to do so.

    30 mins every 4 years.. unless you take the time to pay attention once in awhile or we have a sooner election.

    And people are tired? Bull crap. They just don't care. Or they have argued themselves into not caring by saying that they are all just the same.

    I might be able to understand not liking the choices and choosing not to support any of them.

    But fatigue,... its not!

  22. there is no heir apparent among provincial Liberals

    Thanks, of course, to Charest himself, who has pushed out all of his best potential replacements, such as Pierre Paradis, Thomas Mulcair, and maybe Philippe Couillard (who resigned for reasons unknown) in favour of hangers-on and neophytes (eg., Yolande James, appointed to cabinet at age 29 with a CV less impressive than, say, mine).


COMMENT MODERATION POLICY - Please be respectful when commenting. If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion. Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians. Inflammatory and overly partisan comments will not be posted. PLEASE KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.