Monday, July 03, 2006

Quebec Liberal Popularity

A Léger poll conducted June 22-25 has the Quebec Liberals ahead of the PQ for the first time since the summer of 2003. The results are:

PLQ - 37
PQ - 33
ADQ - 17
Quebec Solidaire - 6

This result led to some hope that Jean Charest was starting to turn things around. The CBC said the "Charest government has been riding a small wave of popularity over the past couple of weeks."

However, a subsequent CROP poll taken June 12-25 had the PQ in front albeit narrowly:

PQ - 35
PLQ - 32
ADQ - 16
Quebec Solidaire - 7

My take on this is that it is more about PQ weakness than Liberal strength. I think the Léger poll is suspect because it was conducted over the weekend of Fête Nationale, Quebec’s biggest holiday for nationalists. It could have slightly skewed the results.

More fundamentally, the Léger poll had the PQ ahead among francophones (meaning an election based on the poll would have given the PQ the most seats) and confirmed that there remains high dissatisfaction levels with the PLQ government and Charest’s leadership.

I think it will be very difficult for Charest to win again. However, there are clear strains and tensions among nationalists and signs that the 40 year old PQ coalition may be fragmenting.

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