This election has not been a good one for the PQ. This is the worst percentage of the vote for the PQ since the 1973 election. In terms of seats it is their worst result since 1989. The only saving grace is that the PQ remains the Official Opposition.
PQ Election results since formation
Election vote percent seats
1970 662,404 23.1% 7 4th party but 3rd in pop vote
1973 897,809 30.2% 6 off opp
1976 1,390,351 41.4% 71 maj govt
1981 1,773,237 49.3% 80 maj govt
1985 1,320,008 38.7% 23 off opp
1989 1,369,067 40.2% 29 off opp
1994 1,751,442 44.8% 77 maj govt
1998 1,744,240 42.9% 76 maj govt 2nd in pop vote
2003 1,269,183 33.2% 46 off opp
2007 1,125,546 28.4% 36 3rd party
2008 1,139,185 35.2% 51 off opp
2012 1,393,703 32.0% 54 min govt
2014 1,074,027 25.4% 30 off opp
It has been 16 years since the PQ has managed to get more than 40% of the vote, their overall electoral trajectory over the last five elections has been downward when compared to the era of 1976 to 1998. Once example was the loss of the safe seat of Ungava. Since the riding was created in 1981 the PQ won it in every election until last night.
It seems only 1/4 to 1/3 of people in Quebec are willing to back the PQ any longer. One of the reasons for this is the rise of third and fourth parties over the last four or five elections. There was a period, after the final demise of the Union Nationale, that the PQ and Liberals took the vast majority of the votes, it was a two party race in Quebec from the 1970s to 90s.
PQ and Liberal dominance
Election share seats
1970 68.5% 79/108
1973 84.7% 108/110
1976 75.2% 97/110
1981 95.3% 122/122
1985 94.7% 122/122
1989 90.1% 121/125
1994 89.2% 124/125
1998 86.4% 124/125
2003 79.2% 121/125
2007 61.4% 84/125
2008 77.3% 117/125
2012 63.2% 104/125
2014 66.9% 100/125
This is the first time a large third party in Quebec has been able to re-elect a decent sized caucus. The CAQ lost popular support but gained three seats. In 2012 the vote splits went against CAQ, in 2014 it went their way. Could this be a sign of a realignment of Quebec politics where the CAQ will serve as a right wing alternative to the Liberals?
Quebec Solidaire has managed to continue to grow, they increased their vote total significantly and won another seat bringing their total to three. They are also now serious contenders in two to four more seats. QS continued their trend were a large portion of their total provincial vote was concentrated in their five best seats. In 2014 17.04% of their total vote was in their best five. This is the lowest vote concentration they have seen since the party first contested the 2007 election but no by much. Their five best seats average more than four times the support levels of the other 119 ridings where they ran candidates.
An interesting question, are current day QS supporters former PQ supporters? If they are, the loss of 7.6% of the vote to the QS could make it impossible for the PQ to win the next election.
So now what for the PQ MNAs? I could see some of them looking for a radical sovereigntist option and joining Option Nationale or something like that. Some of them I could see switching to QS. I could even see some of them joining CAQ. The problem for the PQ will be to maintain their 30 MNAs. The loss of 2-3 to QS and 2-3 to CAQ would leave them roughly tied with CAQ for seats and status as Official Opposition. The PQ is at a serious cross road that could lead to the party being small perpetual third party.
How the parties did in popular vote
Party 2012 2014 change % change
Liberals 1,360,968 1,757,114 +396,125 +29.1%
PQ 1,393,703 1,074,027 -319,676 -22.9%
CAQ 1,180,235 975,512 -204,723 -17.3%
QS 263,111 323,372
ON 82,539 30,736 -51,803 -62.8%
Greens 43,394 23,171 -20,223 -46.6%
The rest 38,738 48,579 +9,841 +25.4%