Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Liberals slide as PQ opens up commanding lead

Angus-Reid's latest provincial poll in Quebec shows the Liberals have dropped significantly, opening up a 14-point gap between them and the Parti Québécois.Compared to Angus-Reid's last poll in August, the Liberals have lost five points and now stand at 26%. The PQ leads with 40%, up one.

The Action Démocratique du Québec is third with 11% (down one) while Québec Solidaire is up two points to 10%. The Greens are at 8%, unchanged, while "others" are up two points to 5%. I imagine that a lot of disgusted Liberal voters are parking their votes there.

With the results of this poll, the Parti Québécois would win 77 seats and form a solid majority government. The Liberals would be reduced to 40 seats, their lowest result since the 1976 election that first brought the PQ to power. The ADQ would win six seats and QS would win two.

There is a lot of bad news in this poll for Jean Charest. Only 17% of Quebecers believe him over Marc Bellemare, the former justice minister who is accusing the premier of meddling in the nomination of judges. A majority, 51%, believe Bellemare while 24% believe neither. And since more people are following the Bastarache inquiry than the Montreal Canadiens or the war in Afghanistan, it just stinks for Charest, no matter how you slice it.

But Quebecers seem to have a bad opinion of politicians in general. Fully 76% think that the performance of politicians has been bad.

Angus-Reid also asks who would be a good person to replace Jean Charest if he stepped down as leader of the Liberals. Opinion is split and "none of the above" or "don't know" are more popular options than any of the individuals listed by Angus-Reid, but Denis Coderre, current federal Liberal MP, is on top with 13%. He is followed by former federal minister and current TV pundit Jean Lapierre at 9% and current provincial minister Nathalie Normandeau with 7%.

Though Pauline Marois' leadership is in no way challenged, the same question was asked about the PQ. Gilles Duceppe finished on top with 19%, but considering his age it is unlikely he will ever become leader of the PQ. Lucien Bouchard, who is even older, garnered 11% support. François Legault, a former PQ MNA, was at 9%. It is interesting to note that both Bouchard and Legault are considered to be on the right-hand side of the political spectrum.

It just keeps getting worse and worse for Jean Charest, both in the inquiry and in the court of public opinion. Yet it needs to be repeated again and again: the next election is three years away.


  1. It's time for Jean Charest to go away.

  2. "But Quebecers seem to have a bad opinion of politicians"

    Actually I think we're seeing a national trend not just provincial.

    "Throw the bums out" seems to be a pretty strong feeling almost everywhere. Yes the recession certainly spurred this but I think it's more than just that.

    Seems to me that bad or poor governance has affected almost the whole country? The only possible exception is NL where Williams seems really secure.

    Other than there I'd say the whole country wants change !!

  3. Not a single cabinet minister can manage even double digit support as a replacement for Charest. That should be more worrying long-term for the Liberals than even these terrible polls. The Liberals are as much a one man show now as the ADQ was under Mario. If the party is still unpopular when Charest goes, and a bunch of no-names and outsiders with weak party loyalty run for his place, the Liberals could undergo infighting that will make the ADQ leadership contest look smooth and professional by comparison.

    P.S. As if we needed any more proof that the "other" option distorts the poll! Last election, the total "other" vote was 0.43%. Now, they're at 5%. Is there really going to be 10 times greater support for independents and Marxist-Leninists? I doubt it.

  4. I agree, Goaltender. Those Other supports probably turn into non-voters come election day.

  5. Ira: Those Other supports probably turn into non-voters come election day.

    Quite possibly, and yet the "Other" category provides useful information. It's a gauge of frustration with the major parties and hence perhaps the volatility of the vote.

    It does mean more work to predict what will really happen in the booth. However, anybody who's been reading this blog for awhile knows that polls can't be directly mapped to election results anyway. Given the choice, I'll happily pay for more information with the additional effort needed to interpret it.

  6. Ira you're spot on. 1/3 of Canadians don't vote.

    Don't know or "other" people aren't voting. Most Greens aren't voting either.

    John says it tells us if people are frustrated.

    Who cares? Frustrated people don't vote.

    (Yes, I am anticipating a Glen Pearson style lecture from commentators about how faith in government is an intrinsically good thing. About how voter frustration should worry us.

    Hogwash. We need MORE distrust in government, not less.)

  7. All,

    I will be brief: F-O-U-R-N-I-E-R,

    F-O-U-R-N-I-E-R ! ! !

  8. New EKOS out shows significant Tory and NDP losses in Quebec.

  9. Heh Peter way to bury the lead.

    New EKOS out shows Tory lead widens over Liberals, NDP losses.


    New CROP poll shows Tory gains in Quebec.

    The Ignatieff slide is one!!

    The Harper victory draws near!

  10. New CROP out shows significant Tory and NDP GAINS in Quebec.

    Vive la difference!


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