Liberals lead in new poll; support for sovereignty waning
A new Leger poll conducted for Le Devoir suggests the Quebec Liberal Party is gaining in popularity among Quebec voters and also suggests support for Quebec independence is falling especially among francophone voters.
According to the poll, the Liberal Party now sits five percentage points ahead of the PQ, with 37 per cent to the the PQ's 32 percent. The CAQ is third at 19 percent.
The Liberals' lead has grown three points since the the previous poll from October.
Among francophones, the PQ leads with 39 percent of the vote to the Liberals’ 28; CAQ has 21.
When it came to the question of sovereignty, the Leger Marketing poll suggested support is dropping, especially among francophones. Only 33 percent of Quebecers would vote ‘yes’ in a referendum in favour of sovereignty; 51 percent would vote no, and 13 percent were undecided,
Among francophones, 41 percent would vote yes; 42 percent would vote no, and 15 percent were undecided.
The divisive debate over the Charter of Values could be behind the shifting political landscape, said Concordia University political scientist Harold Chorney.
“The PQ under Marois's leadership has adopted this very divisive policy which is deeply unpopular with multicultural people, some of whom actually, probably in the past, voted for the PQ and may even have voted yes in a referendum,” he said.
Many religious minorities feel the Charter has presented an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality, said Haroun Bouazzi who founded the Association of Muslims and Arabs for a Secular Quebec.
“Obviously Quebecers that were here for a longer time don't feel that, and this is what the polls are showing us; they don't feel that this is the kind of country they were fighting for,” said Bouazzi.
The polls may show the PQ strategy to win a majority based on Quebec identity could be backfiring. Other sovereignist parties believe the PQ is leading separatists astray, said Option Nationale leader Sol ZanettI.
“Certainly the independence movement in Quebec needs new leadership,” he said.
The Liberals have led every poll since March, with a two percent lead in October, a four percent lead in August, an 11 percent lead in June, an eight percent lead in May, and a four percent lead in March.
The PQ polled higher than the Liberals in the first five polls conducted after the 2012 elections.
Philippe Couillard was chosen as the best leader by 24 percent of those surveyed, while Pauline Marois scored 21 percent support as best leader and Francois Legault 15 percent.
One in three people polled described themselves as “totally satisfied” with the PQ’s performance, while 62 percent described themselves as “totally unsatisfied” with the government’s performance.
Eighty-nine percent of non-francophones described themselves as “totally unsatisfied” with the Marois government.
Supporters and opponents tied on Bill 60
When it comes to Bill 60, the proposed secularity law, 45 percent described themselves as “completely in favour” of the bill, while the same number said they were “completely opposed” to the bill.
Eighty-five percent of PQ supporters were “completely in favour” of the bill, while only 12 percent were “completely against.”
Seventy-three percent of Liberal supporters opposed it completely and 21 percent supported it completely.
A total of 1002 Quebecers over the age of 18 took part in the online poll between Dec 2 and 5.