Leger poll puts Liberals on top
Published Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:50AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 25, 2014 1:10PM EDT
A Leger-Journal de Montreal poll is confirming the trend shown in the past week, with the PQ holding steady and the Liberals with a strong lead in the popular vote and a good chance of winning a majority government.
The poll of more than 3,600 Quebecers shows 40 percent prefer the Liberal party, while 33 percent favour the Parti Quebecois. The CAQ and Quebec Solidaire are the choice of 15 and nine percent of the electorate, respectively.
Those figures are in line with several polls published in the past week, all of which show the dominating lead the PQ had before calling the election has been reduced.
- Watch CTV News at Noon when Sebastien Dallaire of Leger provides his analysis of the poll
Just ten days ago, a Leger poll had the PQ and Liberals tied at 37 percent.
The regional breakdowns in the poll show that the Liberal lead in most of the province's individual ridings is enough to give the party a majority government if the vote were to be held today.
PQ support strong in rural areas
There are several regions where the PQ maintains an overall lead including the Laurentians, the Saguenay and Quebec's North Shore, long known as the heartland of PQ support, and the Gaspé and Lower St. Laurent. However support in those ridings alone is not enough to win the PQ a government, be it a majority or a minority.
One analysis shows the PQ are right back where they were in 2012, with a good chance of winning 54 seats -- but has the Liberals in position to win 64 seats.
Polling firm president Jean-Marc Leger said in a televised interview that the over the course of the three days the poll was conducted, support for the Liberal party was highest on Friday, but dropped slightly on Saturday and Sunday -- the same days the PQ were sounding alarms about a supposed influx of students from outside Quebec attempting to register to vote.
On Sunday afternoon Elections Quebec discredited the PQ's claims, and said applications to register were actually lower than in the previous election campaign of 2012.
Leger also said the poll shows the CAQ have no safe seats anywhere in the province.
PQ supporters don't expect referendum
The poll asked several other political questions and showed a remarkable split in the electorate.
One question asked "If the PQ is elected to a majority government, do you believe it would hold a referendum on the sovereignty of Quebec?"
Overall 47 percent said yes it would, while 36 percent said it would not, with 17 percent being uncertain.
Liberal and CAQ supporters were the most likely to think the PQ would hold a referendum, with 77 and 56 saying the PQ would.
The overwhelming majority of PQ supporters did not think their party would call a referendum. Only 17 percent of people who said they were voting PQ believed the party would take steps to push for the independence of Quebec.
30 percent of Quebec Solidaire supporters said they thought a PQ majority government would hold a referendum.
The Leger poll surveyed 3,692 people online from March 21 to 23, 2014, and have a 1.9 percent margin of error 19 times out of 20.