Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ipsos-Descarie confirms massive PQ lead

Ipsos-Descarie, part of the Ipsos-Reid family, recently released a Quebec provincial poll taken in mid-November. It isn't without its problems, but adds fuel to the fire that Jean Charest is in a wee bit of trouble.We have no previous poll to compare this one to, so we shall look at it in isolation. Ipsos-Descarie did not distribute the undecideds, so I have done it instead. Portioning them out according to how decided voters responded, the Parti Québécois leads with 40%. The Liberals are well behind at 23%, while the Action Démocratique du Québec is doing very well at 17%.

Québec Solidaire continues to impress with 11%, while the provincial Greens are at 8%.

As my colleague on Quebec Politique points out, we haven't heard from Ipsos on Quebec for over four years. There are also a few problems with this poll.

It doesn't ask respondents which party they support, but rather "Which one of the following parties' candidates would you be most likely to support?" It is a very weird question to ask. Those aren't candidates - they are leaders.

Well, mostly. The poll included Guy Rainville as the "candidate" of the Greens and Benoit Renaud as the "candidate" of Québec Solidaire. Rainville announced his resignation in September, and Claude Sabourin was elected the new leader of the Greens on November 20, the day after this poll was out of the field. And Renaud is the official leader of the party according to Elections Quebec, though for all intents and purposes the two "spokespeople", Amir Khadir and Françoise David, are the two actual leaders. Renaud is a complete unknown. Nevertheless, it doesn't appear to have swayed responses too much, but we can't know for sure.

This was an online poll, using Ipsos-Reid's online opt-in panel. They report, however, that were this a standard random sample, the margin of error would be 2.7%.

In and around Montreal, the Parti Québécois and Liberals were tied at 33%, followed by the ADQ at 14% and Québec Solidaire at 10%.

There were no numbers for the Quebec City region, which shouldn't be too much of a surprise as the poll was conducted for Global Montreal. But in the "rest of Quebec", the Parti Québécois dominates with 46%, followed by the ADQ at 21% and the Liberals at 14%. It doesn't bode well for Liberal chances outside of the metropolis.

Among francophones, the PQ leads with 47%. The ADQ is second with 20%, while the Liberals are beating off Québec Solidaire with 14% to 12%.

Among anglophones (Ipsos-Descarie does not appear to have included allophones), the Liberals lead with a whopping 72%. The Greens are second, with 17%. The Parti Québécois garners only 1% support among anglophones. They are likely the most monolithic voting block in all of Canada.

With these polling results, the Parti Québécois would win a comfortable majority of 86 seats. The Liberals would form the Official Opposition with a bare 22 seats, while the ADQ would make some gains and win 15 seats. David and Khadir would be elected for Québec Solidaire.

The poll also asked some questions about language legislation and education. The most interesting result was for the question of whether the provincial government is doing enough to protect the French language. While 65% of francophones said the government is not doing enough, 86% of anglophones said it is. The two groups appear to be in disagreement.

This is a relatively old poll, so we can't read too much into it for the current political situation in Quebec. The PQ has been around 40% for months now, while this is the second poll to put the Liberals as low as 23%. It appears that the PQ is doing well but not as well as it could be doing, and that the second and third tier parties are benefiting. Recall that the combined vote of Québec Solidaire and the Greens in 2008 was a little less than 6%. According to this poll (and others), they are now at about 19% support, combined.


  1. There was no real need to sample in Quebec city as those ridings are likely to remain ADQ. The important battleground for the next election will be Montreal.

    Expect the ADQ to unseat some Liberals in West Island.

    Current PQ support may disappear once the hard core separatists start trying to equate higher polling numbers to separatist wishes. The PQ are polling far higher than the percentage of people who even want to hear about another referendum. Maybe the Greens will get a bump if the leftists hate the Liberals and realize that the PQ is just there for one reason. Or they may just skulk back to the Liberals and rinse/repeat this whole problem.

  2. "Expect the ADQ to unseat some Liberals in West Island."

    I'd like know what you've been smoking....

  3. "Expect the ADQ to unseat some Liberals in West Island."

    Yeah, that 6% support among Anglophones will really help there

  4. 'Expect the ADQ to unseat some Liberals in West Island."

    I have to second DL's comments, what are you smoking?

    As for "battleground Montreal," it's unlikely. Montreal is a Liberal fortress. The PQ have a shot in a few ridings, but not enough to tip the balance. And the likelihood of the ADQ winning a seat on the Island proper is about as likely as Charest becoming the most popular Premier in Canada.

    You could give the Adequistes a shot in some of the Laval ridings, but its still unlikely given that even in 2007 those ridings didn't fall, and the ADQ had 30% support. Now they're stuck at 17%, probably winning 15 ridings mostly by vote splits between the PLQ and PQ, which would not happen in Laval.

    And fyi, most Quebec City seats are Liberal.

  5. Online polls automatically leave out those who doesn't use the internet. I can guarantee you that my 92-year old aunt in an elderly residence in Westmount did not participate in this online poll. But you can guess who she will be voting for, and you can be sure that if she is alive, she will definitely vote (which can't be said for all online poll-responders).

  6. I agree with the fact that the ADQ will win seats in west island, I have seen Mr. Deltell, his speeches and supporters in the anglophones/allophones. I am done with social democrats and most people around me are. Deltell is a federalist and was a progressive conservative. I think that his close guard is also.

    And Mr. Kane, where is the 6% support coming from? I would like to know what you are smoking. Liberal weed? They have ignored us long enough, I am done with these Liberals that have taken our vote for granted. It ends now for me.

    You vote the liberals back in, enjoy them ignoring you again.

  7. "Online polls automatically leave out those who doesn't use the internet."

    ...and phone polls automatically leave out those who don't have land lines.

  8. Anonymous,

    The 6% support among anglophones for the ADQ is in the poll that you're commenting on.

    The ADQ will not win any seats in the West Island.

  9. Online 'opt-in' polls are meant to be abused. I doubt it will have much relevance in the coming year.

    What I assume the prior poster was talking about wrt West Island is that the ADQ are the only party interested in english Quebecers staying in Quebec at this point without needless assaults on their Canadian language rights.

    oh, and the ADQ apparently is ok with the municipalities breaking away from Montreal; Unlike the PQ, who merged them in to force out english language signs, and the LPQ, who set very poorly thought out limits on their ability to get out. (10 years later,look at the abuse they're facing in the latest budgets)

    Oh, and the ADQ are the only major party in Quebec that hasn't used the 'notwithstanding' clause to attack english Quebecers.

    Of course, what the poll doesn't say is that a lot of english quebecers won't actually vote. Which is a real issue. (look at the St. Laurent by-election)

  10. The ADQ hasn't formed government, so they haven't gotten the opportunity to use the notwithstanding clause.

    If they did form government, I'm sure they would use it sooner or later when the Charter of the French Language would be challenged. Their bread and butter is, after all, the heavily francophone regions of Quebec.

  11. "Online polls automatically leave out those who doesn't use the internet"

    Yup... and my cell phone only, no land line basically leaves me out of phone polls.

    Then if you caught me 5 years ago at university when I did have a landline... A single call would have left the other 4 roommates out. (And ya, between the 5 of us there was 3 different parties).

    Then you could could phone my friends number and he would tell you to go away, whereas his wife votes and doesn't really use the house phone either.

    "she will definitely vote (which can't be said for all online poll-responders)."

    nor,can it be said for all phone-poll responders...

    No method is perfect GI,... And the phone polling has just as many drawbacks as online... they just happen to be different ones.

  12. ok, small point about them not being in government yet. Though, given the sheer majority of french speakers in Quebec, all parties have them as their "bread and butter".

    The only recent discussion of the use of the notwithstanding clause had the ADQ on the side of not using it:

    "The ADQ saluted the government for avoiding the notwithstanding clause."

    So yeah, it's not much but there you go. A 'loop hole' in that Charter of French Language was refused to be closed by the ADQ with the notwithstanding clause.

  13. Barcs,
    Agreed all polling methods have drawbacks. But phone polling tends to be done by random dialing now, so they don't leave out cellphones.

    People who don't have phones at all are usually in some sort of transitional arrangement (eg., your college roommates), so are less likely to vote. But low internet users tend to be weighted in toward the elderly, who vote en masse.

    In Quebec, where the elderly support the Liberals in much greater numbers than the general population, I have reason to believe that online polls understate Liberal support.

  14. Anonymous,

    Not every anglophone thinks that opposition to Bill 101 is the number one issue to vote on, as the near-zero vote results for the Equality Party after 1989 showed.

    Anglophones DO overwhelmingly support the current federal system, which is what has kept them from supporting the ADQ since its foundation. ADQ supported the OUI side in the 1995 referendum and has been calling for more devolution from Ottawa ever since.

    The Green Party got way more support in the West Island in the last two elections than the ADQ. Enough said.

  15. for GI:

    While that may have been true in the past, the ADQ now is not separatist nor anti-federalist. Gerard Deltell has been quite vocal about having voted NO in that referendum.

    So if Charest is the big time 'federalist', why hasn't he used his majority in the assembly to finally put the nail in to the heart of the PQists plans? Why is he instead working over the english again to gain soft-PQist? He's not the federalist he claims to be. If he was, every loophole and issue would have been finished with his majority to effectively kill off the PQ threat. But he didn't. He keeps them around because he can use them as a scare tactic in elections. (every election without fail the Liberals say: vote for us or the PQist will separate Quebec from Canada'.)

    The old game of language and 'separatists' is over. It's caused more damage to the economy and to Quebec's interests than it should have. It's time to change the channel and rebuild Quebec before we destroy ourselves.

  16. Volkov:
    > As for "battleground Montreal," it's unlikely.
    > Montreal is a Liberal fortress. The PQ have a
    > shot in a few ridings, but not enough to tip
    > the balance.

    Western Montreal is a Liberal fortress, this is true, but Eastern Montreal is much more fertile ground for the PQ, while Central Montreal, being (as I understand it) mostly young and left-wing, will be a battle between the PQ and Québec Solidaire. This poll shows the Liberals and PQ tied in first place in Montreal with 33% each; I'd be curious to know what the numbers are in each of Montreal's subregions.

    Now, of course the ADQ will not make any inroads among anglophones. They're as tired of Charest's government as francophones are, which explains why the Greens are polling at 17% among them -- which won't translate in any seats -- but their voting for the ADQ is as likely as their voting for the PQ.


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