Monday, December 19, 2011

Leger sees NDP slide in Quebec

While new Bloc Québécois Leader Daniel Paillé and former New Democratic Party president Brian Topp do not have much in common, they both are without a seat in the House of Commons. If Mr. Topp wins the NDP leadership race, this will put him and the Bloc chief squarely in the minority of Canada’s political leaders since Confederation.

You can read the rest of the article on The Globe and Mail website here.

Brian Topp has said he will run in Quebec if he wins the NDP leadership, but the latest polls show that he'll have some work cut out for him. While a recent CROP suggested that the NDP was alright at 36% or so, new surveys from Harris-Decima, Forum Research, and Léger Marketing indicate that the bottom may be falling out for the NDP in Quebec. Let's look at the Léger survey today.
Léger was last in the field between November 14-17, and since then the New Democrats have dropped four points to 33% in the province.

Around November, we were seeing the NDP slipping from the low-to-mid 40s to the high 30s. Now, it appears that the New Democrats are slipping again, though this time to the low-30s or high-20s.

The Bloc Québécois has not, in this survey at least, made any gains. They've actually dropped one point to 26%.

Instead, the Conservatives have made a three-point gain and now stand at 18%, compared to 17% for the Liberals (+2).

Though they would still lose between 10 and 20 seats, the NDP can still work with this kind of lead - they are still the dominant party in the province. But any lower and a lot of bubble seats get flipped to the Bloc.

This is primarily because the francophone vote is now split between the two parties. The NDP has dropped seven points among francophones to 33%, now just one point ahead of the Bloc (down one point themselves).

The New Democrats are leading once again among non-francophones, but these are always small samples. The NDP is up eight points since November to 36% while the Liberals are down nine points to 28%. It could be coincidence, but with the calls the Conservatives were having made in Irwin Cotler's riding it is perhaps not a surprise that the Tories have dropped six points to only 18% among non-francophones in Quebec.

Regionally, there has been little change in the Montreal region, with the NDP still holding a lead over the Bloc. In Quebec City, however, the NDP's support has dropped by nine points to 23%, behind the Bloc at 25% (+1) and the Conservatives at 33% (+5).

There has also been little change in the rest of Quebec, with the NDP and Bloc taking a small step backwards to the benefit of the Conservatives.

With this seven-point lead over the Bloc Québécois, the NDP would win 45 seats of the 75-seats in Quebec. That is still a large portion, but down 14 from their current standing. The Bloc Québécois would win 12 seats, making them an officially recognized party in the House, while the Liberals win 10 and the Conservatives eight.

The last couple of weeks have shown just how fragile the NDP's support in Quebec can be. A new leader may turn the tide and push the New Democrats back to dominance in the province, but it is far from a sure bet. A misstep could easily push the NDP down into second place in Quebec. They don't have to worry much about third or fourth again, however, as it does not appear that the Liberals or Conservatives are resonating very much.


  1. I'd point out that your previous poll had the NDP within 6% of 3rd with a margin of error of ~5%, so I hardly think the NDP is safe from falling back to 3rd or 4th in Quebec. I realize that was probably a rogue poll for the Bloc and the NDP, but 2015 is still a ways away and Quebec politics seem to be in complete flux right now.

    That being said, I do find it most likely that the NDP will come first or second in popular vote, I could easily see them coming in 3rd or 4th on seats, coming second to the Liberals in Montreal, the Conservatives in Quebec City and the Bloc everywhere else. That's not far off from your projection for the Harris Decima numbers yesterday - with the NDP taking 20 seats in Quebec compared to 15 for the Liberals and 11 for the Conservatives. Striking distance for second place for both the Grits and the Tories imho.

  2. Merry Christmas Eric and the rest of the regulars on here. DL, Ira and Volkov come to mind!

    All the best to everyone in 2012.

    Thanks Eric for all the work you've put in 2012. It made the elections much more intense and interesting for me.

  3. Merry Xmas, Earl!

    As for this poll, I think it just goes to show how much Quebec desperately needs a figurehead instead of a party to attach itself to. Maybe one can claim the Bloc was/is the only party to truly tie itself to Quebec (maybe), but it is pretty clear that for the three federalist parties, they need a leader who inspires Quebecers, or else you're at a loss in the province.

  4. Regardless of who leads the NDP, they will still suffer many losses in Québec and most of the support will either move back to the BQ or return to the Liberals. It always seems that Québec voters are always choosing the lesser of the four evils.

    On a side note, Angus-Reid released its Best Premier numbers and again Charest is the least liked. A surprising thing was that this time they also released Opposition (2nd place party in seats or support) leader numbers and polled for Andrea Horwath in Ontario instead of Hudak (go figure considering Horwath hasn't polled higher than the PCs yet).

  5. That Angus-Reid poll asked approval ratings of all opposition party leaders, but only mentioned the highest in their reports. So, they did ask for Hudak as well as Horwath but he had a lower rating than Horwath so his numbers won't included in the report.

    It was the same thing for Marois in Quebec, for example. The AR report only mentioned Charest and Legault.


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