Thursday, August 2, 2012

CAQ drops on new poll

A new poll conducted the night of the writ drop suggests that the Liberals and Parti Québécois have made gains off of both the Coalition Avenir Québec and Québec Solidaire. Is a multi-party race turning into a two-party face-off?

It is certainly too early to tell, and the poll by Forum Research may prove to be an outlier. But the projection now gives the Parti Québécois 38% of the vote and 60 seats, compared to 36.7% and 57 seats for the Liberals. That is a gain of five seats for Jean Charest, primarily at the expense of the CAQ. They have dropped to only 15.3% of the vote and seven seats in the projection, while Québec Solidaire is down to 4.8% and one seat.

It is a remarkable shift. Time will tell if it is only a blip on the radar screen, but the drop in support for the CAQ is catastrophic, if true. At these levels of support, François Legault is roughly where Mario Dumont was at the end of the 2008 election campaign, when the party was clearly on the downswing after their breakthrough in 2007.

But the new poll is at variance with Léger's latest, forcing the projected seat ranges wide apart: the Parti Québécois is likely to win between 41 and 80 seats while the Liberals should win between 39 and 77. That is enough to hardly be helpful, but with the PQ and Liberals still neck-and-neck and volatility in the polling, this is what happens.

The CAQ is set for a very bad showing, at between two and 11 seats, while Québec Solidaire could win two or zero seats. Option Nationale has benefited from the uncertainty, as they could now potentially pull one seat (Jean-Martin Aussant's) out of the fog.

Regionally, the Parti Québécois is ahead in the projection in western Quebec (40.9%), the suburbs of Montreal (42.5%), and eastern Quebec (49.5%). These three regions provide the party with 44 of their projected seats. But they are also almost maxed out in these regions, as they have little more room to grow, particularly outside of the Montreal metropolitan region.

For the Liberals, they lead in central Quebec (37.4%), Quebec City (39.7%), and Montreal (43.1%). These three regions are responsible for 39 of their 57 seats, but here too the Liberals are near their ceiling.
Forum was last in the field on May 17, and since the PQ gained six points to hit 39%, while the Liberals were up four to 38%.

The CAQ dropped five points to 14% and Québec Solidaire six points to 4%. All of these shifts are statistically significant.

But the regional leads each party holds (the Liberals in Montreal and Quebec City and the PQ elsewhere) are not. Only the PQ lead among francophones and the Liberal dominance among non-francophones is statistically significant.

This poll is a shot across the bow of the CAQ. They may be doing much better than this and Forum pegged them at the bottom edge of their margin of error, but that the polling firm can pull a 14% result out of the electorate has to be worrying for Legault. Much worse is the 16% among francophones, which spells disaster for the party.

16 comments:

  1. Ironically, with the projected 7 seats, the CAQ would hold the balance of power. This would be little consolation should they only pull ADQ-like numbers.

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  2. This is actually a remarkably good poll for the Liberals. If they can hang on to 38% they have a good chance of winning since there would then be a good chance that CAQ (and to a lesser extent QS) could erode the PQ's support as people start to search for an alternative to Charest that is NOT a one way ticket to monthly referenda etc...

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  3. Funny how everyone, including this site, was counting out the PQ out.

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  4. Je ne sais pas si je peux écrire en français, mais bon. Je voudrais savoir comment vous faites pour arriver à 57 sièges pour le PLQ. Parce qu'avec les résultats de ce sondage, je peux facilement prédire un gouvernement majoritaire pour le PQ. Le 38% du PLQ tient au 73% de non-francophone. Selon ce sondage, le PLQ peut sauver quelque siège dans l'ouest de Montréal et dans la région de Québec, c'est tout. toujours selon le sondage, je ne pourrais même pas donner Charest gagnant dans son compté.Cependant, ce sondage est vraiment différent des autres.

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    1. C'est grâce à les variations régionales, et le fait que la projection est basée sur la moyenne des sondages, et pas seulement le dernier.

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  5. August 3 update:

    Reports are flying that the CAQ is about to announce the candidacy of Jacques Duchesneau, the well-respected former chief of the anti-corruption squad. Could potentially bode very well for the CAQ's polling numbers.

    Dom

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  6. How could Option Nationale lose two thirds of its projections within 24 hours, from August 1st to August 2nd? I don't get it.

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    Replies
    1. Because the Forum poll had a 0% result for "Other" parties, which included ON.

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  7. I guess with QS's campaign now focussing on sovereigntism, rather than the progressive issues that would otherwise distinguish them from the other parties, they've effectively announced they don't want to gain any votes...

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    1. I beg to differ. For the record I won't be voting for QS, but I must concede that they have the best election placards (IMO) among all the parties that I've seen so far, and indeed the only ones to highlight their progressive policies rather than merely presenting a face, a logo and a generic slogan. It's stuff down the lines of "Debout pour des retraites dignes", "Debout pour des transports électriques", "Debout pour la protection de nos ressources", etc., complete with very snazzy accompanying visuals I must say. Their new ad affirming their sovereigntist stance is simply a quick rebuttal to Gilles Duceppe's recent attack on them. I don't at all expect it to become the focus of their campaign.

      Dom

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    2. I'd like to agree, but a TV ad probably goes a lot farther than those placards. And, of course, QS needn't have responded to Gilles "has been" Duceppe at all!

      Over the past couple of years QS has foregrounded sovereigntism more than they originally suggested they would (when they first launched themselves, they said that sovereignty would be on the back burner)... most egregiously when they were part of a protest against a day care where "not enough French" was being spoken... In these times, focussing on such an issue seems hopelessly out of step - both with reality and with people's wishes (as judged by polls showing a decrease in interest/support for sovereigntism).

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  8. I can't believe the polling drought still going on for this election. Can we expect pollsters to ramp up relatively soon? ...or were they polling and did they decide to throw out what they had prior to the Duchesneau announcement?

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    1. I've heard of at least two polls to be released before the end of the week, so we'll have new numbers soon.

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  9. The best hope for QS would have been to ignore the issue of sovereignty altogether, I wonder if the new ads will have a negative impact on their polling. With such a long election campaign, perhaps smaller parties might gain some traction, such as the UCQ or the Conservateurs.
    -Taylor

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    1. I just checked UCQ's website and it appears that as of now they're fielding 21 candidates in total, *not* including in my own riding of Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne. From what I understand they're basically like a non-separatist QS, or essentially a proper provincial homologue of the NDP. Could eventually be interesting.

      Dom

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  10. I can't help thinking Forum poll an outlier... Seems too big a drop for CAQ. 0% ON doesn't seem right to me either. Guess we'll find out soon

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