Thursday, August 9, 2012

CAQ makes big gains after first week

A dearth of polling since the writ was dropped last Wednesday left us all in purgatory, unable to determine whether the news of the first week of the campaign was having any real effect. With a new Forum poll for The National Post out today, however, it would appear that François Legault has made up a lot of the ground he had lost over the last few months.

Nevertheless, the Parti Québécois remains on top. They have dropped 2.3 points to 35.7% in the projection, while the Liberals have fallen three points to 33.7%. The Coalition Avenir Québec is the culprit, as they have gained 6.3 points to hit 21.6%, while Québec Solidaire is up 0.7 points to 5.5%.

The effect on the PQ is negligible, as they remain unmoved with 60 seats. The Liberals, however, have dropped eight seats to sink to 49, while the CAQ is up seven to 14 and Québec Solidaire is up one to two seats.

The seat projection pie chart shows how split the province is. The Liberals and the CAQ, both to the right of the PQ and not sovereigntist, have 63 seats between them while the PQ and QS, both left of centre and sovereigntist, have 62 seats. How this would work out in the National Assembly is difficult to figure.

But a majority is still possible. The PQ's seat range stretches from 40 to 76 seats (on 32.7% to 38.7% support) while the Liberal range is between 32 and 73 seats (on 30.2% to 37.2% support). The CAQ is in a position to have a little or a lot of influence, with a range of between six and 24 seats (16.6% to 26.6%).

Québec Solidaire can win one or two seats, while Option Nationale still has a hope of electing Jean-Martin Aussant.

On the subject of Option Nationale, the projection currently has them at only 0.1% support. That is, of course, unrealistically low. But with the latest poll from Forum showing 0% support for other parties (they don't include ON in their polls) this is the result. Léger Marketing is supposed to have its new numbers in Le Devoir tomorrow, according to what Jean-Marc Léger said on Twitter, so we can expect to see their support jump. Léger does include ON in their polling.

The CAQ's increase in support is quite dramatic throughout Quebec, in large part because their support among francophones jumped by 7.4 points. Their only sluggish region is Montreal itself, where the party saw a gain of only one point. They stand at 11% on the island.

Elsewhere, however, they were up big: 2.5 points in eastern Quebec, three points in western Quebec, 5.3 points in the Montreal suburbs, 5.9 points in central Quebec, and a massive 9.7-point jump in Quebec City. That increase has put them at 33.3% in the projection in the capital, just behind the Liberals (down 2.5 points to 37.2%).

Both the Liberals and the PQ have taken a hit. Their drops in support in Montreal and western Quebec were quite small, but the PQ lost more than three points around Montreal, in Quebec City, and in eastern Quebec. The Liberals, meanwhile, had losses of more than four points in the Montreal suburbs and in central Quebec, where the race is incredibly tight: 33.2% for the Liberals, 32.6% for the PQ, and 25.4% for the CAQ. That puts almost every seat in the region at play, as the Liberals could win between one and 15 seats, the PQ between three and 13, and the CAQ between one and nine.

Québec Solidaire had a 2.4.-point increase in Montreal to put them at 10.8% (and capable of electing both Amir Khadir and Françoise David), but they also had a corresponding 2.6-point slip in Quebec City, where they have only 3.3% projected support.
The Forum poll, taken on Tuesday and so well after Jacques Duchesneau's candidacy for the CAQ was announced, showed statistically significant shifts in support for all four top parties: a drop of five points since Aug. 1 for the PQ and six points for the Liberals, as well as a two-point gain for QS and a 10-point surge for the CAQ.

But statistically significant leads are hard to identify: only the PQ's advantage in the "rest of Quebec" and among francophones, and the Liberal lead among non-francophones. It will be interesting to see if the recent courting of anglophone voters will have a positive effect on the CAQ's support. It is unlikely that Léger's poll, apparently completed last night, will be able to record much of that.

The CAQ saw statistically significant increases in support across the board: eight points in and around Montreal, 12 points in Quebec City, and 10 points in the rest of Quebec. The Liberals had important losses in Montreal (-4) while the PQ's slip of six points in the rest of Quebec does not appear to be noise.

On the personal front, things are also looking up for Legault. Jean Charest's approval rating dropped by three points, widening the gap between his approval and disapproval scores by a total of six points (disapproval stands at 63%). Pauline Marois's approval/disapproval gap widened by four points (35% to 53%) while Legault's shrank by 14 points. His approval is up nine points to 39% while his disapproval is down five points, also to 39%. It has been awhile since one of these leaders had a net positive rating, and Legault is on the cusp of one. Still, 22% of Quebecers are not sure of what they think of him(down four points), suggesting things are still very much up in the air.

25 comments:

  1. En fait, la CAQ ne fait aucun gain. Tous les sondages donnaient la CAQ à 24%. Il n'y a que Forum qui les donnaient à 14%. Ce que vient de faire Forum est de mettre la CAQ à 24% comme tout le monde. Même un sondage de Crop coulé par la CAQ donnait le parti à 24% le 25 juillet dernier. Depuis le début, on a CAQ 24% (+0%), PQ 34%(+4%), PLQ 31% (+0%), QS 6% (-2%) (variation depuis le début de la campagne).

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    1. This is exactly what I was going to say, too. I feel National Post is merely sensationalizing the CAQ gain out of their own interests. All the polls since february (except the one on august 1, which could very well be an outlier) gave the CAQ between 19-24%. So, this is not really a remarkable change, in my opinion. However, that's not to say things won't become remarkable in the near future.

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    2. Léger: 21% pour la CAQ le 29-31 juillet.

      CROP maintenant? On verra bientôt.

      La dernière fois qu'un sondage publique (pas commandé par un parti) à donné 24 % au CAQ était en mai.

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    3. H Liu, it is possible that Forum was an outlier. It is also possible that with the launching of the campaign voters flocked to the two main parties who had the best chance of forming government, but then swung back to the CAQ after they had a good first week.

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    4. C'est pour cela qu'il faut attendre de voir les prochains résultats de Léger et CROP. Si vous examinez la liste de tous les sondages effectués depuis le début de 2012:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Quebec_general_election,_2012&pe=1&#Opinion_polls

      ... vous constaterez que Forum semble continuellement accorder considérablement moins d'appui à la CAQ que Léger et CROP. C'est peut-être une différence dans la méthodologie; même Éric m'a avoué être perplexe lorsque je lui ai posé la question auparavant. Bref, si la tendance se poursuit, on peut donc s'attendre à voir bien plus que 24% pour la CAQ dans les prochains sondages de Léger et CROP. Semble-t-il qu'on aura la réponse demain!

      Dom

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    5. Given that Legault has consistently held the best approval rating out of the leaders, I don't it should be surprising to see their support grow...

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    6. Forum had the CAQ at 24%, and now CROP has them at 21% and Leger at 27%. Seems Forum is in the middle now!

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    7. I just noticed that too, Éric. Very bizarre! CROP seems to be the only one to not have registered any sort of CAQ surge yet. Just some more rampant speculation on my part here, but could it have to do with the field dates? I note that Forum picked up the biggest surge (+10) and they were in the field on August 7 only. Léger picked up a 6-pt bump and they were in the field August 5-8, while CROP basically picked up nothing and were in the field August 4-8. Duchesneau's candidacy was only officially announced on August 4 and that's when the CAQ slowly started monopolizing the headlines. At this point I'm gonna guess the actual surge in support only began in the last few days (i.e. circa August 6) and the farther back the pollsters started surveying, the less of it they picked up.

      Dom

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  2. Forum sous-estime toujours le vote de la CAQ.

    Il sera intéressant voir demain ce que Léger va nous sortir.

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    1. Toujours? Depuis quelle élection?

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  3. I think the CAQ primarily gains at the expense of the Liberals. If the CAQ continues to gain support throughout the campaign, I think there will be a CAQ-Liberal vote split, in which the PQ will benefit from.

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  4. It will be interesting to see if there is a Duschesneau effect on CAC's numbers.

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  5. I'd be extremely surprised if Jean-Martin Aussant is not elected in Nicolet. He is tremendously popular in his riding.

    I'd be a slap in the face if Françoise David wins over Nicolas Girard of the PQ. Girard is a rising star of the Parti Quebecois and getting more and more popular in his riding.

    In the region of Quebec, the CAQ should win it all except in Tashereau where Clement Gignac should squeeze on top. Catherine Dion of the ON will hurt the PQ a lot in that riding.

    I'm curious to see how well the candidate of the Col Rouge in Vanier will fare. He is backed by a powerful and popular radio station. Even with his racist remarks, it shouldn't hurt him that much since it's an idea often heard in Quebec city's radio stations (bad immigration versus good immigration). He could pull a surprise win.

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  6. Yay a poll, finally!

    Anywho, with that said, I can totally see the CAQ improving their standing even more... think about how in the past day plus, the CAQ has made tremendous strides to court Anglophone voters, denouncing the PQ over language law changes and denouncing the idea of sovereignty references including Legault saying with absolute certainty that he would vote "Non!" if a new referendum were to be held.

    As a guess, I can see this allowing the next set of polls to read something like PQ 32/CAQ 30/PLQ 27 just prior to the debates which could vault the CAQ even higher. I certainly have more confidence in Legault as a debater than Marois who is filled with hot air and nonsense, and Charest whose words are tired and unbelievable.

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    1. Given the new corruption allegations against the Charest government that came out in the last day or two, I would not be surprised to see a significant francophone shift from the PLQ to CAQ. But, anglophones see themselves largely stuck without an alternative—not only are there general suspicions about the CAQ, there's also a lot of concern over specific proposals (e.g., eliminating school boards). (See, e.g., http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Anglos+alternative+Liberals+poll/7070008/story.html )

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  7. My prediction: PQ wins overall and has the most seats, but CAQ and the Liberals together have more seats than QS and PQ combined. Perhaps a coalition government will be in order. I can see that happening.

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    1. I would be absolutely astounded by a coalition government, given the rhetoric around corruption and the CAQ's position as a brand-spanking new party.

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  8. I'm not so sure that CAQ draws votes from the Liberals, i think they could also draw a lot of "soft PQ" voters who do not support sovereignty, don't like Marois and were only parked with the PQ when they thought they were the only real alternative to more Charest.

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  9. Robert Libman and Paul Daniel Muller have suggested that anglophones considering voting for the CAQ. I think it is even entirely within reason, although not likely at this point, to suggest that the CAQ could form the next government. IMO if more francophones show increasing support many anglophones will park their votes with them this election.

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  10. Selon Élection Estrie, dans Sherbrooke : PLQ 39%, PQ 42%.

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    1. Je pense que c'est mes chiffres, pas un sondage.

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    2. Après vérification, vous avez raison.

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  11. Si le scénario PQ+QS = PLQ+CAQ se réalise, je mets un 2$ sur la table que Rebello traverse le plancher (si le PQ le veut encore).

    PQ+QS pourrait former un gouvernement stable (avec le programme du PQ) si le PQ promet les EDF et la proportionnelle en échange.

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  12. I would not be surprised if the CAQ continues to gain on the Liberals and PQ, and it becomes a true three-way race with all three parties garnering between about 29-32% of the vote.

    The CAQ is a new party and still needs time to grow in opposition. I think they would likely prop up the party that wins the most seats and until they are ready to face the electorate again.

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  13. What happens if Charest loses in Sherbrooke and the PLQ wins a minority government? Does he decide to replace one of his elected MNAs from another riding or what?

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