Thursday, 30 August 2012

PQ set for majority?

The latest polls in the increasingly bitter Quebec 2012 election show Parti Quebecois support holding up and suggests they may just achieve the majority they seek.
If they do succeed then the march to a fresh referendum on Quebec independence will be started.
However there are a few days campaigning to go and with PQ sitting on 33% in the latest poll followed by the incumbent Liberals on 28% and the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) on 27% there is all to play for.
Reports continue to say that Liberal Leader Jean Charest is vulnerable in his home riding. This may raise a question of whether the Liberals standing in the polls is higher than it will be on polling day?
Perhaps when Quebeckers go to the poll on September 4 there will be a shift towards the PQ and CAQ at the expense of the Liberals. That could leave the Liberals facing a wipe out similar to the one that swept away years of Liberal power in neighbouring Ontario in 1990. The increasingly bitter fight between the PQ and CAQ could benefit the Liberals by deflecting attention from their record. The spat between PQ Leader Marois and CAQ Leader Legault is personal - both are former ministers in the last PQ government - and this exchange of invective may well put voters off. Allied to that the PQ have worried anglophone and allophone voters with their policy on the french language.
With all this heat at the front of the contest perhaps the smaller parties will make an impact and end up holding the balance of power. Both Quebec Solidaire and Option Nationale  have picked up percentage points in the latest poll. The challenge to them is to keep momentum, be heard above the noise of the big parties and ultimately win a significant number of seats between them to provide bargaining options. There is unlikely to be a formal coalition though as Quebec Solidaire have ruled out a deal with the PQ while Option Nationale leader Jean-Martin Aussant is another former PQer and colleague of Marois who left and formed Option Nationale after disagreements with her leadership. He also has no love for CAQ and Legault whose politics he's described as 'populism of the worst kind'. Aussant has recently gained the support of former PQ Premier Jacques Parizeau who led the PQ during the last sovereignty referendum.
It's an interesting mix that will make for a tense last few days of campaigning.

More on Quebec Solidaire and Option Nationale
Quebec Solidaire
Option Nationale

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