Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quebec Election - what will happen?

With the latest CROP poll is broadly in line with the polling done by Leger and showing no one party has any  significant lead in the election.   I do not see how this election will not end up with a minority government.

In the last three decades, other than in 2007, the Liberals and PQ have a very dominate portion of the vote from 77.20% in 2008  to 95.33% in 1981.  The arrival of the ADQ started to change this.  The creation of CAQ out of the ashes of the ADQ may indicate a complete change in the political landscape

Election Lib % seats  PQ % seats  ADQ % seats  
1994     44.40  47   44.75  77    6.46   1
1998     43.55  48   42.87  76   11.81   1
2003     45.99  76   33.24  45   18.16   4
2007     33.08  48   28.35  36   30.84  41
2008     42.05  66   35.15  51   16.35   7

The 2012 election in Quebec is going to very hard to predict because it does not follow how the last elections have gone.  2007 is not even a good model to look to because of the collapse of francophone support for the Liberals.

Based on CROP and Leger it seems the PQ has the support of 1/3 of the province.    CAQ around 28% and the Liberals just behind them.

Poll Date    Lib  PQ CAQ QS ON Vert Oth
Jul 31 Leger  31  33  21  7  2  4    2
Aug  8 CROP   29  32  21  8  2  3    4
Aug  8 Leger  31  32  27  6  0  2    0
Aug 14 CROP   27  34  25  7  2  3    1
Aug 16 Leger  28  33  27  6  3  2    0
Aug 24 Leger  27  33  28  7  2  2    1
Aug 26 CROP   26  33  28  7  3  3    1

The only shift I can see in the polling is CAQ rising while there has been a small but consistent decline in support for the Liberals.  The PQ seems to have been dead on 33%.

PQ support seems to be on a par with the Liberal support in 2007 and seems to be lower than what they achieved in the 2008 election.  For them to win seats they have to win ones they lost in 2008 with a smaller vote this time.   They will narrowly winning seats with votes in the range of 30-35% in some cases.   These sorts of results are toss ups.

The Liberals could become a party representing anglophones and not electing anyone east of Montreal.  There are about 20-25 very safe Liberal seats in Montreal and near Hull.

Among francophones the gap between the PQ and CAQ seems to getting smaller.  It is close enough that there are regions where the PQ is behind CAQ such as Quebec City and in central Quebec and potentially in the suburbs of Montreal.  If non francophones in majority francophone areas vote CAQ to stop the PQ this could sway numerous seats.

QS will take one or two seats and Option Nationale could win a single seat by re-electing Jean-Martin Aussant.  These three seats will make getting a majority even harder for the PQ.

My current attempt to estimate of the result of the election:

PQ  33% 57 seats
CAQ 30% 40 seats
Lib 26% 25 seats
QS   6%  2 seats
On   2%  1 seat
Oth  3%  0 seats

A minority PQ government with CAQ as the second place party will I think lead to an unstable minority government and we will see another election within a year.

The PQ could manage to get to 60-62 seats and then it becomes interesting, does QS and ON join them in government?
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