CAQ MNAs are absorbing what are the worst poll results the party has seen since 2018. Some say they "have to take it easy," others admit that "it's a nice wake-up call."

The Léger poll commissioned by Quebecor media and published Wednesday suggests a hard fall for the Legault government in voting intentions, following the CAQ's retreat on its commitment to build a highway tunnel between Quebec City and Levis, the third link.

It revealed CAQ support would drop from 40 per cent to 36 per cent in Quebec since February, but even more brutal, the drop would be 14 per cent in the capital region, falling from 40 per cent to 26 per cent.

"It was predictable, we will live with it, there is no problem, we will see in time if it will last," the CAQ MNA for Beauce-North, Luc Provençal commented, before entering its party's caucus session at the national assembly.

"You have to take it easy," said Abitibi-Est MNA Pierre Dufour, who then said, "you have to take it in stride, with three and a half years to go before the election, you don't have to panic about it."

"You have to be humble in all this, it's a nice realization," said the member from Bécancour, Donald Martel, a veteran of the CAQ, refusing to interpret the data.

"That's life," commented Mario Asselin, the CAQ MNA for Vanier-Les Rivières in Quebec City. "I'm not surprised because five years have passed, it's normal that there is some movement."

"Throwing promises in the air is a bad idea," commented Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, of Québec solidaire (QS), in a press scrum.


The Parti Québécois (PQ) would benefit the most from the CAQ's descent should a vote be held. It would be at 22 per cent, still far from the CAQ (36 per cent), but it would make a surprising comeback in the Quebec City region. The sovereignist party would be first there at 28 per cent, ahead of the CAQ at 26 per cent, in a territory where it's been wiped off the map.

PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon was pleased with the new poll, but cautious. He nevertheless declared that his party was establishing itself as an "alternative to the CAQ" and as the "second political force in Quebec."

The other parties are treading water: QS is trailing at 16 per cent, while the Liberal Party is behind at 14 per cent and the Conservatives are trailing at 10 per cent.

On Wednesday, prospective Liberal leadership candidate André Fortin acknowledged that the PQ had recently made a good move by launching an advertisement that is considered negative, listing all the CAQ's setbacks.

The ad is not negative, it is "honest" and "reflects reality well," Fortin said in a press briefing at the national assembly, without saying whether his own party would be inspired by the PQ's initiative and record similar ads.

The Léger-TVA News web survey was conducted between last Friday and Monday, among 1201 adults, with an oversized sample of 200 people from the Quebec City area. The respondents were recruited from a random panel.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 3, 2023.