Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tories down, Force Quebec up?

Léger Marketing's new poll on the political situation in Quebec at both the provincial and federal levels has a few interesting tidbits. Notably, the rise of the Others at the provincial level.

By my estimation, this has to be chalked up to the recent talk about "Force Québec", which I wrote about recently for The Globe & Mail. The "Others" are never this high in a Léger poll, and there's really no other way to explain it. Undoubtedly voters' distaste with both traditional options plays a role, but now that an "Other" has emerged as a potential option, it seems to be garnering much more support than a hypothetical party should.The Parti Québécois still leads, however, with 34%. That is down six points from Léger's last poll in mid-September, and almost all of those votes went over to the "Others". The Liberals are also down, dropping four points to 28%.

Québec Solidaire is down one to 10% and the ADQ is down two to 8%.

The gainers are the Greens, up one to 7%, and the Others, up 11 points to 13%.

Force Quebec, which I think we can consider the Other vote, is up almost everywhere. The option is up 15 points among francophones, and is in third place behind the PQ (40%) and Liberals (18%) in this demographic. FQ is up ten in Montreal to 12% and 14 in Quebec City to 15%. The potential party is also up 13 points in the Rest of Quebec to 14%.

The PQ, conversely, is down everywhere, dropping eight points among francophones. The party is also down six apiece in Quebec City (28%) and the rest of Quebec (38%), though the PQ does still lead in these regions. The party is also down four points to 33% in Montreal.

The Liberals are not spared either, dropping six points among francophones (18%), three in the rest of Quebec (25%), four in Montreal (32%), and five in Quebec City (20%).

Québec Solidaire is relatively stable, but is down two points in Montreal to 10%.

The ADQ is down a little everywhere, but particularly in Quebec City. The party has dropped six points to 22% there.

The Greens are up two points among allophones to 13%.

Pauline Marois, at 21%, leads among the options for "Best Premier", but that is her lowest result this year. Jean Charest, also at 2010's low, is at 15%. Amir Khadir (QS) and Gérard Deltell (ADQ) are at 9%.

Only 19% of Quebecers are satisfied with Charest's government.

And while it would appear that an avenue is opening up for a national-question-neutral party like Force Quebec, the numbers show that there is still a majority of Quebecers (58%) who believe that leaving aside the question of Quebec's place in Canada cannot be done.

With this poll, the Parti Québécois would win 71 seats and form a majority government.

The Liberals would win 44, Québec Solidaire three (all in Montreal), and the ADQ would win one. Force Quebec, or whatever the Other option is, would win six seats, all in the ADQ's traditional areas of strength.

Now on to the federal polling results.

Here, we see gains for the Bloc Québécois and the Liberals, all at the expense of the Conservatives.Compared to that mid-September poll, the Bloc has gain two points and now leads with 38%. The Liberals, also up two, are at 24%.

The New Democrats are steady at 17% while the Conservatives have lost five points. They are at 16%.

The Greens are at 3%.

Bloc gains came everywhere in the province, but particularly in Montreal and outside of the two main cities. The Bloc leads with 36% and 41% in these two regions, respectively. That is a gain of two points for each. The party is also up one in Quebec City, and is tied with the Tories at 29%.

The Liberals made gains in the "rest of Quebec", jumping seven points to 24%. They are down in Montreal and Quebec City, however.

The NDP is up seven in Quebec City to 22%. They are down six among allophones.

The Conservative losses came in their bread-and-butter regions: Quebec City and the "rest of Quebec". Down eight points to 29% in the capital and down nine to 15% in the RoQ, the Conservatives are at great risk of losing over half of their seats in the province.

But the Bloc would pick-up four new seats, and win 52 overall. The Liberals would win 15, the Conservatives six, and the NDP two.

At the federal level, this is the status quo. The Bloc leads, the Liberals are safely in second, and the Conservatives can't seem to get back to the 20% mark. At the provincial level, talk of this non-existent party is shaking things up, but the PQ still has the edge.


  1. Its interesting how once again a large sample Quebec only poll shows the NDP doing very well in Quebec (so much for the half-baked theory about the gun control debate costing the NDP in Quebec). CROP says 18% and now Leger says 17% (compared to the 12% the NDP got in the '08 election). Its notable that in the Leger poll, among francophones, the NDP is actually in second place ahead of both the Liberals and Tories.

    This must be DEVASTATING news for Martin Cauchon. He must feel like someone took a croquet mallet and hammered his head into a tub of Crisco!

  2. Given that Forces Québec, if it ever gets off the ground, is likely to absorb the ADQ, do you have seat projection numbers for the combined ADQ+Other total?

  3. Interesting question.

    Combining the Others and ADQ bumps Force Quebec up to 21%, which would give the following result:

    PQ - 67
    PLQ - 35
    FQ - 20
    QS - 3

    Not dissimilar from the poll I talked about in my G&M article.

  4. Also interesting DL that no other poll confirms these high numbers. One or two polls does not a trend make.

    Anyways, "Force Quebec" certainly does seem to be the best explanation, doesn't it? The question is, however, will people be so keen on it whenever they release policy and ideas? It's one thing to have a new theory of a non-federalist/sovereigntist, non-traditional party that people's minds can latch on to, quite another to have a bonafide party organization and team out there that can release stupid policy and commit bad gaffes.

  5. Short of a Dumont endorsement I wonder how well Force would really absorb the ADQ.

    Due to public financing there is a financial incentive to keep a party going for as long as possible.

    (Just another reason why public financing of political parties is so undemocratic.)

  6. Well at least there is one good thing about the Force Quebec party it aims to have a strong conservative option for Quebec. Every single website I go to does not show what type of ideology the party has, where it is located in the political spectrum in terms of being centre, centre-right or right wing. What it does tell me most likely is the party aims to be big tent and have people who are both libertarian and liberal conservative and compassionate conservative in the party. With separatist pequistes supporting it as well as the old Bloc leader from 1993 supporting it I think this party may resemble the old Progressive Conservative party and that is good since Quebeckers support the red tory conservatism over the blue tory conservatism any day of the week.

    Lastly, I would like to say it is all speculation I have not seen the party website and this party is sort of a test run to see how Quebeckers would vote if such a party came about. Also, having a six party status province could be very problematic for new parties unless they have a strong following. Quebeckers are not going to go for cheap politicians if such a scenario happens with six parties. Every part of the spectrum has representation now except for the fringes on the left and right but what is good for Quebeckers is their willingness to vote for conservatives since the Liberals and PQ are corrupt. I still think it won't be a blank cheque for any party since the PQ are the de-facto party to come in power next time in Quebec. They are still the front runners.

    Thank you!

  7. Shadow,

    I question whether or not it would be too hard to take over the ADQ right now. They have little support, they lost half their caucus, and they have no leader with anything effective or worthwhile to say.

    If this Force Quebec showed up in the flesh rather than a theory, would the Adequistes even bother to remain Adequistes? There's nothing left in the way of an organization, would the ADQ even put up a fight, Dumont endorsement or not?

  8. Well, Force would immediately pick up Éric Caire and Marc Picard, the two adéquistes who left the party after Taillon won the leadership election - they've already said as much.
    The current leader, Deltell, has also been a tease about the whole thing. He says he welcomes the arrival of a new right-wing movement or party, and has said, at various times, that he looks forward to discussing possible "alliances" with them and that he had a lot of "openness" towards them.

  9. Quebec City region always seems to be an oddball place. The highest support for the right, ie. the Cons, and the highest support for the left, ie. the NDP, and the weakest support for the BQ.

    BTW, Harris Decima has released their national figures latest here:


  10. "Also interesting DL that no other poll confirms these high numbers. One or two polls does not a trend make."

    Leger Quebec poll of 1,000 Sept. - NDP 17%
    Leger Quebec poll of 1,000 Oct. - NDP 17%
    CROP Quebec poll of 1,000 late Sept. - NDP 18%
    The NDP also got 17% in the Quebec sub-sample of the last ARG poll.

    It seems to me that there is a ton of data showing the NDP doing well in Quebec and the only evidence to the contrary are some very small Quebec sub-samples in national polls.

  11. Why is it that Force Quebec is doing so well when the ADQ has gone down so much?

    Is it just because people are making this party be what they want it to be seeing it doesn't actually exist yet?

  12. DL,

    Leger/Crop does not a trend make. And you know my feelings on Angus Reid. Especially an AR poll that bucked a trend by giving the NDP 18% of the vote during their downtime just after the LGR debate.

    What of all the other pollsters out there that show the NDP sitting around 10-14%? Are they discredited?

  13. Leger and CROP are respected Quebec based pollsters who have sample sizes of 1,000 in Quebec. Any reasonable person can see that a three Quebec polls in a row with an n of 1,000 conducted by Quebecers who know the province is vastly more significant than what 200-odd people in Quebec think as part of a national poll by Ipsos or whoever.

  14. DL,

    Yet, a large sample size is not necessarily indicative of a more accurate poll. You know that. The fact that Leger/CROP seem in line with Angus Reid only is enough to throw the entire operation into question.

  15. I question just what type of "conservative" the Force is going to be.

    Hasn't Bouchard and the lucids called for higher hydro rates and hiking tuition ?

    That's going to be a big hit to middle class families.

    And i've heard nothing about tax relief.

    This has the makings of the least popular political agenda EVER.

    Its similiar to what Cameron is doing in the UK. The danger is that the economy could atrophy because these are not expansionist policies.

    I'd prefer supply side solutions, look at cutting down on regulation and making Quebec a better place to do bussiness.

    And exploit the heck out of shale gas and offshore oil !! Royalties balance the budget pretty darn quickly.

  16. "Yet, a large sample size is not necessarily indicative of a more accurate poll."

    I guess you don't know the fundamentals of statistics. The results of a survey of 1,000 can be considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.2 percent, 19 times out of 20. When you have a teeny-weeny Quebec sub-sample of (typically) 240 people, the margin of error sky-rockets to plus or minus 7.0 or more.

  17. DL I think Volkov is getting at the difference between "accurate" and "precise" as used in scientific parlance.


    Increasing a sample size makes a poll more precise (+ or - figure is decreased) but NOT necessarily more accurate because a pollster's methodology can introduce biases.

    As an example, EKOS could increase their sample sizes to 10,000 and still be wildly off with their Green numbers because they prompt.

  18. DL,

    Yet you're forgetting as well that there exists different sub-samples and weights applied to each and every poll that can distort and bend results. If other traditional pollsters are not reflecting a trend for the NDP in Quebec, why should we believe the pollsters that show consistent favourability to the NDP?

  19. Shadow, I don't know why you're singling out Ekos for the fact that they tend to inflate the Green party because they prompt. As far as I know know Nanos and recently Environics are the only pollsters that don't prompt all the party names including Green. That's why the Green vote also gets wildly exagerrated in Ipsos and HD and to some extent ARG polls.

    As for Quebec, my view is that all things being equal, you have to trust large sample sizes of over tiny sample sizes and you have to trust pollsters based in Quebec who understand the political culture there over pollsters based in Toronto who probably don't.

  20. DL EKOS comes to mind because of their disasterous recent history of inflating Green support.

    In the last poll before the 2008 election they were +3 Greens, -3 CPC away from reality.

    As for your contention that Ipsos and AR inflate Green support Eric's nifty chart doesn't support that at all.

    They are the MOST anti-green pollsters. (Possibly because they also prompt leader's name.)

    On the other hand, you are right about HD. They are also too kind to the Green party.

  21. Angus-Reid and Nanos are the hardest on the Green Party. Ipsos is relatively middle of the road.

  22. Shadow:
    > And exploit the heck out of shale gas
    > and offshore oil !! Royalties balance
    > the budget pretty darn quickly.

    These options raise serious environmental concerns, and the promotion campaign done by industry representatives around Quebec seems to have only harmed their cause with a particularly undiplomatic André Caillé. Maybe Éric has seen polls showing the popularity of shale gas in Quebec, but I'd wager a party promoting it would suffer in an election.

    As for Force Québec (or whatever it's supposed to be called), I'll believe it exists when I'll see it. Legault hasn't said he intended to start a new party, he's only been talking about a "movement" and everyone's been jumping to conclusions. We don't even know what their positions would be on anything, other than they'd be "centre-right" and probably committed to reducing the debt. It's certainly expected that they'd do well in polls given the unpopularity of the two main parties and the fact that they're "new", but we're still far from an election, and they're still far from being a party.

  23. Obelix putting aside the so called environmental concerns to focus on the political implications of a pro-development political party in Quebec, i'd say there is very little downside to such a platform.

    Even if 70% of people in Quebec are anti-development, by polarizing the issue you're going to pick up 30%.

    Depending on how the vote splits that could be enough to form gov't.

    Our experience at the federal level shows that a polarized and divided electorate allows a party to benefit from "unpopular" positions.

  24. Shadow,

    "Even if 70% of people in Quebec are anti-development, by polarizing the issue you're going to pick up 30%.

    Depending on how the vote splits that could be enough to form gov't."

    Have to disagree with you here. When Force Maxime, ah, ah, I mean Force Québec finally gets off the ground (and it will) all it will do is reduce the incoming Marois government to that of a minority.

    As I've said before, the Liberal goose's ass is thoroughly cooked -- unless they have the brains to put Fournier in as their next leader.

    But both of us know how much brain power actually resides in the upper echelons of your average political party, don't we?...

  25. Ron what about a Force-liberal coalition ?

    If the PQ is held to a minority ...

  26. Shadow,

    "Ron what about a Force-liberal coalition ?

    If the PQ is held to a minority ..."

    Shadow, Put yourself in her shoes...they've been in the middle of the drought for so long they can even taste imaginery water!!!

    My best guess (for whatever it's worth) is that Force Maxime will do a deal with HER. Chances are she will be disposed to grant better concessions than the Liberals to finally return to power. (But I'm probably full of shit on this one.)


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.