Wednesday, August 24, 2011

PQ plunges as Charest gains, even against Legault

Turmoil in the sovereignty movement has had a dramatic impact on provincial politics in Quebec this summer, with the Parti Québécois polling at new lows and an uptick in support for Premier Jean Charest’s governing Liberals. 

A new poll conducted by Léger Marketing for the Journal de Montréal finds that Charest’s government now enjoys the support of 34 per cent of Quebecers, up four points from Léger’s last poll taken in early June

The Parti Québécois has dropped six points to just 24 per cent — a full 14 points below the party’s standing from four months ago. 

The Action démocratique du Québec (ADQ) is down three points to 14 per cent while Québec Solidaire stands at 12 per cent support and the provincial Greens scored five per cent.

You can read the rest of the article on The Huffington Post Canada website here.

UPDATE: I also have a piece on The Globe and Mail website this morning:

Trailing Tory Leader Tim Hudak in the polls and ranking as one of the country’s least popular premiers, Dalton McGuinty does have one ace up his sleeve in the upcoming provincial election in Ontario: a Conservative government in Ottawa.

Quebec will probably not have another election until next fall or even 2013, as Charest is less than three years into his five year term. But politics in the province are currently the most volatile in the country. The Parti Québécois has gone from front-runner to trailing by 10 points in a matter of months, while the potential formation of new parties (François Legault's CAQ or a new sovereigntist party called the Nouveau Mouvement pour le Québec) is throwing everything out of whack.

The formation of the CAQ seems inevitable, but poll numbers for the phantom party will only mean something when Quebecers start paying attention to what it has to say. The creation of the NMQ is, perhaps, less likely but even if it captures 5% of the vote it would severely hinder the PQ's chances in a three-way race between Marois, Charest, and Legault.

But things happen so quickly in Quebec that by the time the election rolls around the landscape could have completely transformed again.