Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Charest's Liberals gain in new Léger poll, Legault still an option

Léger Marketing conducted a poll for TVA of the provincial voting intentions of Quebecers, in order to compare them to what the political landscape could look like if François Legault finally does come forward with a new party. The poll shows that the Liberals are up, but also that the Parti Québécois is still in the lead.Since Léger's last poll, conducted January 10-12, the Parti Québécois has gained one point and now leads with 37%. The governing Liberals, however, are up four points to 33%.

The Action Démocratique du Québec is up one point to 15%, while Québec Solidaire is down two to 8%. The Greens are down three to 4%.

Unfortunately, Léger did not break this particular poll down by region, but did break it down by language. The PQ still has a huge lead among francophones, and his up one point to 44%. The Liberals are up four points to 25%, while the ADQ is up one to 16%.

Among non-francophones, the Liberals are up four to 68%, followed by the Greens at 12% (unchanged) and the ADQ at 9% (down one).

This poll would result in 69 seats for the Parti Québécois, 42 for the Liberals, 12 for the ADQ, and two for Québec Solidaire. For the ADQ and QS, that is unchanged from Léger's last poll, but the Liberals have gained five seats at the expense of the PQ.

But what about Legault and his hypothetical new party? It's a popular option, with 25% opting for it. The PQ still garners 30% of the vote, compared to 24% for the Liberals and 9% for the ADQ. Legault would draw away votes from every party, but particularly the ADQ and the PQ.

Léger also asked about a potential Legault-ADQ aligned party, which to me is just asking how people would vote if Legault led the ADQ. It's a more popular option, and would split the voting public with 31% voting for both the PQ and the Legault-ADQ.

But there is a problem with this line of questioning. In the poll, Léger calls Legault's movement and potential party "nationalist and centre-right". That is generally how Legault has been perceived to be leaning. But Legault has also called his movement "une gauche efficace", or an "effective left". So which is it? And if Léger had described the party as "une gauche efficace", how would that have changed how people responded?

While it's clear that neither the PQ nor the Liberals are creating a lot of enthusiasm in Quebec, it's unclear whether this desire to support Legault and his hypothetical party has more to do with a "none of the above" tendency rather than anything particularly interesting about this non-existent, undefined party. I imagine it is the former.

But Legault is preferred to the other two individuals who are most likely to win the next election in Quebec. While 20% say Jean Charest is the best person to be Premier and 21% believe it is Marois, 30% think Legault is best suited for the job.


  1. I personally wouldn't call a second seat for Quebec Solidaire on the basis of this poll.

    According to this poll, the PQ are up 2% and QS is up 4% from the last election. In QS's second-best finish in the last election, they finished 10% behind the PQ in Gouin riding (41% PQ, 31% QS).

    The poll shows that QS's support gain from the last election is mainly in the Quebec City and "rest of Quebec" region, which votes will be almost certainly wasted. Even were I to concede that the province-wide increase in QS support will be concentrated in ridings like Gouin , that's a big gap to overtake a party that itself has improved in the polls.

  2. All good points. But I tend to think that some of Québec Solidaire's growth is for real, particularly when you see how well-liked Amir Khadir is.

    It was a shock that Khadir won, but now that he has proven that a QS candidate can win, and that they can do a good job, I think that Françoise David will be getting enough new support to beat out the PQ. Voters will believe she can win, and you can bet that QS is going to pull out all of the stops to elect her.

  3. Also, I'm using a model that projects individual ridings for Quebec, and QS's growth is outpacing that of the PQ's enough to elect her.

    Though the model is still very basic (it uses the same foundations that I'm building upon for the new federal projection model), it gives QS 47% of the vote in Gouin, compared to 35% for the PQ.

  4. Too bad you haven't predicted a QS win in Sainte-Marie--Saint-Jacques. My friend would absolutely freak out if she knew, probably start a riot. Not a fan of them it seems. xD

  5. Éric,

    I'm not that sure either about a second QS seat. While the incumbent Nicolas Girard star power has considerably increased since he took Tony Tomassi in the CPE scandal, Françoise David has been overshadowed by Amir Khadir over the last two years.

    The fact that Ms. David is taking a 3-month "leave" to write a book and some testiness in a interview with the dual-headed hydra that is QS leadership tells me she might not run again, or run opposite a weaker péquiste incumbent next time. Time will tell, I guess.

  6. Definitely, if David announced she was not planning to run or if she ran somewhere else I wouldn't be projecting the same result in Gouin.

  7. I'll have to stand with Eric. At 8%, I also believe QS would win Gouin. My model doesn't predict such an easy win (Eric said it was 47% for QS versus 35% for the PQ). I project Qs at 42% and PQ at 39%. So a close race.

    On top of that, yes I agree that some of the growth for QS is probably coming from outside of Montreal, but I'm sure QS will put a lot of effort in Gouin. The same way the managed to win Mercier in 2008 without really increasing their overall level of support.

    I wouldn't vote for QS but I have to admit I'm impressed. Think about it, we are now talking about QS winning 2 seats or more. We aren't even talking about the possibility of Amir Kadhir losing his seat in Mercier. 2-3 years ago, not a lot of people would have thought that.

    Bryan Breguet


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