Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tight race in Nicolet-Bécancour and Trois-Rivières

The debates are in full swing and the effects won't be reflected in polls until a couple of days after tomorrow night's final contest between Pauline Marois and François Legault, but a few riding polls have been released over the last few days for two interesting ridings and the region of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
Trois-Rivières is a particularly notable riding because of the recent controversy over the PQ's policy on the crucifix in the National Assembly and Saguenay mayor Jean Tremblay's comments about the Parti Québécois candidate. Djemila Benhabib, an author who lived in the Outaouais region and the target of Tremblay's comments, was also parachuted into the riding.

Nevertheless, 36% of voters in the riding say they will support her (80% saying that Tremblay's comments have no influence on their vote). That gives her a six-point lead over Danielle St-Amand, the incumbent Liberal MNA. The CAQ trails with 18% while Québec Solidaire is further behind with 8%.

The projection currently has the PQ with 38% of the vote in the riding to 30% for the Liberals and 22% for the CAQ. While this shows the model is working well, it is also interesting that despite all of the local issues and controversies the riding is behaving generally as expected.
Nicolet-Bécancour was a bit of a mystery, though. The riding is where Jean-Martin Aussant, leader of Option Nationale and former PQ MNA, is running. The presence of an incumbent MNA from a new fringe party makes the riding very difficult to predict. How much of the PQ's vote would swing over to ON?

The result is a lead for the CAQ's Donald Martel with 30.6% of the vote, narrowly edging out Aussant's 27.7%. The PQ trails in third with 25.4% while the Liberals are well behind with 16.3%.

The projection currently has the CAQ at 34%, the Liberals at 25%, the PQ at 22%, and ON at 18%, within the margin of error of the poll for the CAQ and PQ, while the ranges were wide enough to envision the poll's result for Aussant. That it pegged the CAQ as leading in the riding is a good sign, but figuring out the proportion of the vote that Aussant would be able to hold on to was always going to be difficult, as the model can only base itself on previous cases in other elections. The poll will be incorporated into the projection with the next update and will put Aussant within range of winning.

A huge proportion of respondents (42%) were undecided, so the race in Nicolet-Bécancour could go any which way. But it is interesting that Aussant, first elected under the PQ banner in 2008, has been able to hold on to so much of his vote. It puts him in a very good position - unless François Legault manages to increase his party's support significantly province-wide.
Lastly, we have (another) series of riding polls for the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, this time by Trigone. I am not familiar with this firm.

Trigone was in the field on most of the days that Segma was and the results match up very closely, particularly considering the margins of error applicable to sample sizes of between 176 and 215 people per riding (Segma polled about 600 people per riding).

The poll shows the PQ with a very wide lead across the board, including Dubuc where the Liberals are the incumbent, and 60% support in the region as a whole. This backs up the results of Segma and suggests that Léger's small-sample regional result (which showed a much closer race, though still a PQ lead) was the odd-man out.

All of these polls are pre-debate, so things could change dramatically over the next few days. But these results certainly don't bode well for the Liberals' chances in francophone Quebec.


  1. Again I recommend Chantal Hebert's piece in today's Toronto Star

    She thinks "Liberal collapse"

    1. That's looking increasingly probable now that this has just happened:

      "Un militant libéral appelle les membres de son parti à se ranger derrière la CAQ"



  2. Unless I have missed it - Éric, will you be doing riding projections for the Quebec election?

    - John

    1. Yes, I have been doing riding projections since last month. You can see all of the information on the projections by clicking on the chart at the top of the page, and scrolling down.

    2. Ah, thanks!

  3. There is a high share of undecided people, I wonder if these are more undecided between Liberals and CAQ, or Option Nationale and PQ...

    1. From what I've been seeing, unless something drastic happens, most of these undecideds can be expected to go to the CAQ or QS

  4. Could you please explain how your numbers are so different from those at tooclosetocall?

  5. Hi. Somewhat off topic but I have some fears to alleviate. I've lived in Montreal for a year, my GF is bilingual francophone, I get by but still am working on my French. Tomorrow I am starting a 3 year DEC at Dawson... been looking forward to this for a long time. If Marois gets a majority, will she shut down the English Cegeps? Will I be able to finish my program in 3 years before she pulls it all apart? If I can just make it to 2015, I can get a great job anywhere in Canada with this program, but I'm scared I may never get the chance...

    1. No, don't worry. That will not happen. Good luck with your studies!

    2. If your anglo you will continue to study no problem

      Theire limiting english cegeps for none anglophone but you will ha no problem and your non anglophone colleague will have a "grandfather clause"

      Don't worry we are Nationalist not Police

  6. Marois is sounding very scary right now, talking about banning non-French speaking people from running for public office. A war on anglophones, aboriginals and new immigrants who haven't grasped the French language.

    I believe even Quebec nationalists will think that is going a bit too far. Perhaps, this is a crucial turning point in the campaign.

    1. Dont worry! please Deep Breaths!!!

      We're in 2012 and the PQ is a Social democrat party ... with a human approach.

      I would be worried if they we're Conservatives and Harper would plan for Quebec independance.

      Canada elected Harper, they know we're they're going. Let's hope

      Let's be zen about it, what can we do anyway. Democraty is a beautiful thing.



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