Riding high on the return of Gilles Duceppe as party leader, the Bloc Quebecois has seen a 12 per cent increase in its popularity according to a poll released by CROP and La Presse on Saturday.

The BQ now has an approval rating of 25 per cent, placing it second behind the NDP’s 36 per cent approval and ahead of the Liberal’s 22 per cent.

The ruling Conservative Party has a 14 per cent approval rating in the province.

The third-place showing for the Liberals comes the same day that the party’s Quebec candidates, campaign teams and riding associations gathered in Saint-Lambert for their most important preparatory meeting before the election campaign officially kicks off.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said he is confident that once the campaign gets under way, Quebecers would come to support his platform.

“The reality is that this election is going to be decided in the campaign,” he said.”We’ve seen a lot of volatility in the polls for many months, so for me, it’s not polls, it’s the work on the ground.”

He added that one of his greatest challenges would be to reduce the cynicism Quebecers hold toward the federal government.

“For a long time, Quebecers were content to be in opposition and to remove the responsibilities of governing the country,” he said. “With our team, we’re in the process of saying that Canada needs Quebec to reengage… and vote for something instead of against, like they’ve done too often in the past.”

Trudeau said the party’s campaign strategy will be “very traditional” on the ground and will focus on volunteers and members of the party meeting people face-to-face to convey their message and listen to the electorate.

Meanwhile, Duceppe and BQ Party President Mario Beaulieu were in Rimouski on Saturday to kick off a new campaign for independence.

To mark the launch, 40 teams across Quebec are going door-to-door to convince voters of the benefits of sovereignty.

Beaulieu said Duceppe’s return and Pierre Karl Peladeau’s election as leader of the Parti Quebecois augur well for the movement for an independent Quebec.

With files from La Presse Canadienne