MONTREAL – Quebec’s governing coalition Avenir Québec is benefiting from a nearly evenly split between its four main opponents, according to a lager poll released on Tuesday.
In the poll published by Le Journal de Montréal, the Quebec Liberal Party, the Conservative Party of Quebec and the Quebec Solidaire are tied at 16 percent, while the Party Québecois is behind at 13 percent.
Support for CAQ — at 38 percent — is more than twice that of its closest rivals.
Liberal leader Dominique Anglade said the poll shows that more than 60 percent of Quebecers do not want François Legault’s CAQ to be reelected, adding that voters should rally behind his party to prevent him from winning. .
“I’m not calling for a strategic vote. I’m calling for a coming together to join forces… but it’s much more than that. Go out and vote,” Anglade told reporters in Montreal. “We saw what happened in Ontario.”
In June, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives captured 41 percent of the popular but won 67 percent of seats in the Ontario legislature. And voter turnout fell to a record-low 43 percent.
Angled insisted that she was not giving up. “I am asking myself, what (a CAQ government) do we want? And the response, we know, is no. We know that more than 60 per cent of the people don’t want that. So, what do we collectively do? Will as Quebecers?”
The survey shows support for the Liberals, down two percentage points from a Lager poll conducted earlier in the month.
Legault answered Angled’s call during an expedition stop in Lac-Mégantique, Ky., near the province’s border with the United States.
“Once again, Ms. Angled is looking at things negatively. I am trying to explain to Quebecers why they should vote for CAQ – not strategically (but) because we have the best platform Because we have the best team,” he told reporters.
Quebec Solidaire spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said he thinks it is too early to talk about strategic voting. “There’s still a debate, there’s still two weeks into the campaign,” he told reporters during a campaign stop in Montreal.
“We are committing crimes; we are here to make profits, and we are in a position to make them.”
His party is down one percentage point from the previous Lager poll – but Tuesday’s result is the second-best for the Quebec solider in the Lager poll since 2018.
Meanwhile, Conservative leader Eric Duhaime said he thinks the polls may undermine his party’s support and the real test will be who can cast the vote. Duhaime said he was happy that his party got more than 15 per cent support for the first time since being elected leader in the latest legor poll.
Meanwhile, daily polls conducted by Mainstreet Research have consistently shown the Conservatives in second place – with a support of about 20 percent – although that firm’s model shows that the Conservatives will win none of the 125 seats in the legislature.
However, Duhaime said the Conservatives would benefit from a “voting booth boost”. Voters may feel ashamed to tell voters that they are voting for the Conservatives because the party has been “demonized” in the public sphere, he said. But those voters can choose their party in the privacy of the polling station, he said.
“What will be important, ultimately, is getting the vote, because voting intentions are one thing, but counting votes is not an election – what counts is the ballot in the ballot boxes,” he told reporters in Saint-Georges, Ky. south of Quebec City. “Our challenge is to actually get out of the vote and that’s how we think we’ll win.”
Quito Maggi, president and CEO of Mainstreet Research, said his firm’s model does not currently anticipate the Conservatives winning a seat, but the party appears very competitive in riding five or six.
Magee said in an interview on Tuesday that although the results of individual elections have been slightly different, most of those differences are within the range of error and show similar trends. All these show the CAQ on track for a “massive victory” as it benefits from a divided opposition, he said.
“They are reaping the absolutely devastating benefits from all those divisions that we saw earlier this year in Ontario, where liberals and the NDP were dividing votes everywhere,” Magee said.
Parti Québécois leader Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon, whose party was up two percentage points from the previous Lager poll, did not directly answer whether the rise of the PQ was coming too late in the campaign. He said there was no plan to change his party’s strategy.
“We are running the campaign we wanted to run: an authentic campaign on issues that are essential to the future,” he told reporters in Tadoussac, Ky., northeast of Quebec City.
Leger used its online panel to survey 1,046 Quebec residents aged 18 and older between September 16-18. The poll cannot be given a margin of error because the respondents were not chosen at random.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 20, 2022.
— With files by Frédéric Lacroix-Couture and Stéphane Rolland.
Jacob Cerebrin, The Canadian Press