Friday, August 27, 2010

PQ holds 10-point lead over Liberals

Leaving the New Brunswick election aside for a few moments, let's look at a recent Léger Marketing poll investigating the provincial voting intentions of Quebecers. Generally speaking, it is the status quo - but the poll has some interesting findings.Compared to Léger's last poll in June, things have not changed much for the two main parties. The Parti Québécois is stable at 41% while the Liberals (PLQ) are up one to 31%. The Action Démocratique du Québec, however, loses four points and is down to 9%, tied with Québec Solidaire (up one). The Greens (PVQ) are up two to 7%.

But this poll was taken before the on-going Bastarache inquiry, in which former justice minister Marc Bellemare alleges that Premier Jean Charest was urging him to appoint judges who were donors to the Liberal Party. Léger has found that only 13% of Quebecers believe Charest in this matter, compared to 69% who believe Bellemare. Fully two-thirds of Quebecers think the Premier should resign.

But going back to this poll, the PQ dominates francophone voters with 51% (up two). The PLQ is down two to 21% in this demographic, followed by the ADQ at 11% (down three). Among non-francophones the PLQ dominates with 66%, followed by the PVQ at 13% and the PQ at 8%.

The PQ (down three) and PLQ (up one) are tied in the Montreal region with 37%. QS is in third with 9% (up three). In the Quebec City region the PQ leads with 32% (up one), followed by the PLQ at 28% (up ten) and the ADQ at 23% (down eight). While the ADQ has dropped a lot here, it is still their only area of strength.

In the rest of Quebec, the PQ leads with 48% to the PLQ's 25% and QS's 10%.

For best premier, Pauline Marois leads with 20% (up seven). Jean Charest followed with 18% (up one). Amir Khadir of QS is at 12% (up four) and Gérard Deltell of the ADQ is at 8% (up one). There are a lot of people who say "none of the above".

With this poll, the Parti Québécois would win 73 seats and form a majority government. The PLQ would form the official opposition with 46 seats. The ADQ would win four and QS would win two.

Léger also looked into who would be favourite to replace the Liberal leader. No one is the front-runner, but current federal MP Denis Coderre ended up on top with 11%. He was followed by former health minister Philippe Couillard at 10%, and cabinet ministers Nathalie Normandeau with 6% and Claude Béchard with 5%. When asked how these leaders would change their voting intentions, no one improved the PLQ's score. One wonders if that will change after the Bastarache inquiry.


  1. I thingk there may be a mistake in this this paragraph:

    "But going back to this poll, the PQ dominates francophone voters with 51% (up two). The PLQ is down two to 21% in this demographic, followed by the ADQ at 11% (down three). Among non-francophones the PLQ dominates with 66%, followed by the PVQ at 13% and the PQ at 8%."

    I beleive that that last PQ should be a QS.

  2. No, the PQ is third among non-francophones in the poll.

  3. No problem, it is a little unexpected.

  4. The Bastarache inquiry should prove entertaining. Charest is effectively being accused of doing the same thing for which Rod Blagojevich just stood trial--selling appointments to government office.

    My colleagues in Montreal think he's in real trouble.

  5. Charest must be staying on for his ego's sake at this point.

    Nobody likes to leave politics at a low point, you're supposed to get out while you're still on top if you want to be remembered fondly.

    Clearly he has stayed on too long and now he's hoping for some kind of judicial absolution.

    After the Bastarache inquiry clears his name I bet he'll leave politics.

    Still laughing about the people who just a year ago were wanting to replace Harper with this guy !

  6. The thing is that the PLQ is chugging along fairly well despite Charest's unpopularity. They're not doing well, of course, but they're remaining at least slightly competitive. I wouldn't say Charest is staying on for "ego's sake" - the PLQ could be doing a lot worse at the moment. If nothing does come of the Bastarache inquiry, he's singing.

  7. I remember Frank Marzolini writing an article where he reminded people that "should X resign" was a terrible, misleading polling question. Pollara added a question to one of their polls about whether a made-up politician should resign, and a majority respondents were in favour.

    Why? (1) it's a biased question. If you are asking whether someone should resign, the respondent pre-supposes that there must be some reason why he should resign (otherwise, why is the question being raised?)
    (2) In our system, even popular politicians rarely have the support of the majority. Even if a party is at 49% in the polls, the other 51% of the population that don't support the party have no reason to oppose the resignation of its leader.
    (3) Politicians are held in low esteem. Even if you've never heard of politician X, he's probably no good, right?

  8. GI, you're right. Normally I don't report on those type of questions for the reasons you cite. The last AR poll said that 52% of Quebecers thought Marois should resign. For what reason?

    I'll resist the urge to do it again.

  9. "Among non-francophones the PLQ dominates with 66%, followed by the PVQ at 13% and the PQ at 8%"

    I find the "non-francophone" category to be somewhat unhelpful.
    I remember polls in the 80s and early 90's that used to split non-francophones into "anglophones" and "allophones". Anglophones would have PLQ at over 90%, PQ at 2-4%. (eg., polls showed that a near unanimous anglophone vote for the PLQ in 1994 allowed them to tie the PQ in the popular vote.)
    Allophone intentions always showed a closer race. I guess the sample sizes of anglophones aren't big enough to do that anymore.
    It's a shame, because the voting patterns of West Island anglophones can tend to be different from, say, Arabic- or Vietnamese-speakers living in the Plateau.

  10. Volkov I don't know if you agree but I think the Liberals would be better off without Charest in the next election.

    Its in the party's interest for him to leave now and pick a new leader who can govern until the next election. Last minute switches don't work out well.

    Its in his own interest to stay on until his popularity experiences a dead cat bounce.

    The interests of Charest are in conflict with the interests of the Liberal party which supposedly advances the political ideals which he believes.

    Charest is choosing his own popularity over the long term prospects of his party and the advancement of his beliefs.

    Sounds like staying on for ego's sake to me.

  11. GI, agreed. I'd like to see an allophone/anglophone breakdown as well.

    At that point you're talking about 10% of the population in each group, which is roughly the same as Alberta, the Prairies, and Atlantic Canada in the federal polls. So it could be done.

    If we assume near monolithic anglophone support for the PLQ, could we guess that the PQ is at 15% to 20% with allophones?


    because giving the government all the information you can on the census or the gun registry, etc etc is a good thing, and they will only use it for good purposes.

    What other things have I been telling them that I shouldn't have been?

  13. Éric,

    We're in the season of the song "Getting To Know You" in Quebec...Charest knows his time is basically up and that explains the return of Fournier to the Conseil des ministres.

    People are well aware that there is a subtle bias against potential women premiers in Quebec. The PQ and Marois are riding high in spite of that. But put Fournier in as PLQ leader and the dynamic shifts immediately -- then Marois and the PQ begin to drop and Liberals return to at least being competitive. If Fournier brings in long needed reforms, he could very well win the next election against Marois.

  14. Barc's until there is proof of this happening it is nothing more than alarmist hype!

  15. Earl, normally I would agree with you.... but given the media hyped attack on the government... not to mention the orchestrated group a day opposing.... started off with the police chiefs.... I am not so sure.

    .... When balanced fact reporting returns to the media,.... when the current civil service receives a few more people less predisposed to dislike their current bosses, etc.

    Then I will be less likely to believe such hype.... so long as others become less likely to believe that every decision the current government must be morally opposed because they are right wing hype.


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