Thursday, August 30, 2012

PQ Majority with 33% of the vote? That seems unlikely

It seems that all the pollsters have the PQ at 33% support which is down from their 2008 election but various people are suggesting they could win a majority.   The more I look at it, the more this seems unreasonable to me.

If we look to the francophone vote in Quebec the PQ does not have a huge lead, certainly not enough to be secure of a majority of the francophone seats.  

We start with 125 seats, 20 of those seats would seem to be securely Liberal because of the non-francophone population, this leaves us with 105 seats.   A majority in Quebec is 63 seats so to get even bare majority the PQ would have to take 60% of the seats.

If assume the support among francophones is as follows:

  • PQ - 36%
  • CAQ - 30%
  • Lib - 23%
  • QS - 7%
  • ON - 3%
  • Oth - 2%

The PQ does not have a commanding lead in the francophone seats.  If the vote follows similar splits in other parliamentary first past the post elections with three major parties holding a combined close to 90% of the here is my estimate of how the 105 francophone seats would break out:

  • PQ - 56
  • CAQ - 28
  • Lib - 18
  • QS - 2
  • ON - 1 

The PQ gets three more seats than a bare majority among francophone Quebec.

With about 30% support among francophones and acknowledged as leading in the Capitale-Nationale CAQ is going to win more than 15-18 seats that so many people are saying.

Adding in the 20 Liberal seats we get to a new prediction of:

  • PQ - 56 
  • Lib - 38
  • CAQ - 28
  • QS - 2
  • ON - 1 

The PQ is not that close to a majority.  If the PQ has a larger lead among francophones they will get closer to a majority, but you have to remember the PQ is less popular now than in 2008, their vote will be dropping in many seats.   There seems to be little indication that the PQ has gained any francophone support in the election and in fact losing ground.

A couple of things could happen on election day:

  • Many federalist francophones simply stay home
  • Many soft federalists abandon the Liberals for CAQ

The first will likely give CAQ and PQ an equal increase in seats of a 3 to 7 seats each
The second will likely give CAQ an extra 6 to 12 Liberal seats.

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