Legault says he predicted the rise of Eric Duhaime and the Conservatives in Quebec
Quebec Conservative Leader Eric Duhaime responds to reporters' questions, Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
François Legault said he foresaw the rise of Eric Duhaime’s Conservative Party.
"I told you it was going to get tighter, so I was right," he said Wednesday.
The leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) was reacting to the publication of a new Léger poll, which now places the Conservatives ahead of Québec solidaire (QS) and the Parti québécois (PQ).
According to poll, the party of Eric Duhaime has collected 14 per cent of voting intentions, with 12 per cent for QS, 11 per cent for the PQ, and 20 per cent for the Quebec Liberal Party (QLP).
The Conservative Party would suddenly find itself in second place among francophones and third among 18 to 34-year-olds, according to a survey of 1,017 Quebecers conducted from Feb. 11 to 13.
“I’m not taking anything for granted," said Premier Legault.
In the corridors of the National Assembly, Sylvain Lévesque, the Caquist MNA for Chauveau, said he did not feel particularly threatened.
The Quebec City riding of Chauveau is in the Conservatives’ sights.
“We are six months away from the election," said Lévesque. "A little patience, it’s normal, people are angry, there is a frustration that is expressed. (...) That doesn’t worry me at all."
“You’re not afraid of losing your seat?" a reporter asked him.
“Not at all," he replied. "I have a very positive record. (...) A poll is a poll.”
Independent MNA Claire Samson, who joined the Conservatives, said Duhaime is rising in the polls because he is “inclusive and unifying.”
In a press scrum, she predicted that the Conservatives’ success will continue over time.
“The dissatisfied will still be there. People have memories,” she said.
Respondents to the Léger survey were randomly recruited using the online panel. It's impossible to calculate a margin of error on a sample drawn from a panel, but as a comparison, the maximum margin of error for a sample of 1,017 respondents is plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
— This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Feb. 16, 2022.