Friday, December 2, 2016

The Pollcast: 4 byelections and many questions in Quebec politics

Voters head to the polls in four provincial ridings in Quebec on Monday. The contests will mark the first test for Jean-François Lisée, the Parti Québécois's new leader.

Byelections will be held in the ridings of Arthabaska, Marie-Victorin, Saint-Jérôme and Verdun. The last riding, held by the Liberals on the island of Montreal, is not considered to be at play.

But the Parti Québécois will be looking to hold their ridings of Marie-Victorin and Saint-Jérôme, while the Coalition Avenir Québec will try to defend its turf in Arthabaska. The CAQ may also try to make a play for Saint-Jérôme, a seat that Pierre-Karl Péladeau won away from the CAQ in the 2014 provincial election.

A few surprises could be in store. Will the results prove to be bad news for Lisée, could they blunt the gains that François Legault's CAQ has recently made in the polls, or will they turn out to be a shot across the Liberal bow, as the government's satisfaction ratings reach new lows?

Joining me to discuss Quebec's politics on this week's episode of The Pollcast is pollster Christian Bourque, executive vice-president of Léger.

You can listen to the podcast heresubscribe to future episodes here, and listen to past episodes here.


  1. Eric,

    I enjoyed your podcast with Christian Bourque. I found the segment on a "nationalist" electoral coalition most interesting.

    My take is the CAQ is in the provincial political mix for the long haul. They have managed to hold their own throughout their first half decade of existence. The ADQ also managed to hold its own and capture significant portion of the vote during its nearly twenty years. So for a generation a solid albeit fluctuating portion of the electorate has found a home in a centre-right nationalist movement. Since its policy on separation is opaque the CAQ has a larger potential vote pool than the PQ. Legault wants to be premier and so I do not see much potential for compromise and any form of electoral coalition.

    Quebec Solidaire is a different matter, QS support is based on socialism not sovereignty. QS support has risen in the last three elections. What incentives are the PQ willing to give for QS to acquiesce and join them? If the PQ becomes government a coalition with QS members perhaps even a coalition government is possible but, until then the PQ has few cards to play.

    For Monday: Liberals will win Verdun, CAQ will win Arthabaska, the PQ will win Marie-Victorin. St-Jerome is a real toss-up in my mind. It probably leans CAQ, but, turnout in by-elections is so unpredictable it really is a three way race. if there is to be an upset, the PQ will win this riding.

  2. Bede dunelm,

    Two points: the right-wing coalition in Quebec goes all the way back to the not insignificant support that Vichy France had in Quebec, largely thanks to the clergy.

    I am a believer in the Trudeau template -- a leader who gains experience and grows into the job, far sooner than expected. That's why I think it's distinctly possible that Jean-François Lisée could be the next Premier of Quebec.

    1. Why stop at the 1940's? The conservative streak in Quebec goes all the way back to the Ancien Regime and colonial Quebec. It's a three maybe even four way race in Quebec the Liberals are far from guaranteed re-election.

  3. And apparently nothing changed ?


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