25 years later, a sovereign Quebec seems even less likely: survey
MONTREAL -- On Oct. 25, 1995 Prime Minister Jean Chretien addressed the country on live TV, but he had one part of the country in particular on his mind: Quebec.
A referendum was upcoming in five days.
"Tonight, in particular, I want to speak to my fellow Quebecers because, at this moment, the future of our whole country is in their hands," Chretien said.
The result was close with the "no" side winning by a narrow 50.58 per cent majority.
A new Leger poll suggests that 25 years later, things would not be nearly as tight.
The survey conducted Oct. 6 found 54 per cent of Quebecers would vote against an independent Quebec, while just 36 per cent would vote for it. Seven per cent said they "did not know" while three per cent chose not to answer the question.
In the 18-24 age bracket, just over a quarter (26 per cent) said they would check the box next to "oui" if a referendum were held in 2020. Sixty-three per cent of respondents in that same age bracket felt an independent Quebec would not have the economic capacity to go it alone apart from Canada.
The only age bracket with a higher percentage in favour (47 per cent in favour versus 44 per cent opposed) was in those 55-64 years of age.
Out of the 1,016 polled who associated themselves with a political party, unsurprisingly, the majority of sovereignist Parti Quebecois (84 per cent) and Quebec Solidaire (51 per cent) said they would vote 'yes,' while the majority of CAQ (41 per cent) and Liberal (eight per cent) leaning voters would vote 'no.'
In addition, the poll suggests a wide gender gap in support for sovereignty. Just 29 per cent of women said they were for an independent Quebec while 42 per cent of men felt the same way.
When asked if they thought the sovereignty movement was going well, 74 per cent responded that it was going poorly.
The numbers were also squarely in the 'no' camp for whether respondents felt one day Quebec could become a sovereign country.
Almost two-thirds (59 per cent) said no when asked the question, with an overwhelming 69 per cent in the 18-24 age bracket answering in the negative.
Perhaps the most telling question on the survey was whether Quebecers felt the idea of a sovereign Quebec was passe or whether it would come back.
Forty-three per cent felt sovereingty was an out-of-date idea while 47 per cent said it will return one day (11 per cent did not know or did not want to respond).