Poll shows growing support for Parti Quebecois
PQ leader Pauline Marois cheers along with supporters while at a brew pub Tuesday, August 21, 2012 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
An end-of-political season poll shows an increase in support for the Parti Quebecois in contrast to a poll conducted by another firm during the same time period.
The CROP poll commissioned by La Presse gives 35 percent support to both the PQ and the Liberals, places the CAQ at 18 percent support, with Quebec Solidaire at 10 percent support.
This is the first time in nine months that the governing PQ is on an equal footing with the opposition Liberal party.
That is a considerable change in support for the PQ, which garnered just 32 percent support from Quebecers in the previous CROP poll conducted in mid-November.
A Leger poll conducted from Dec. 2 to Dec 5 showed the Liberals edged out the PQ in popular support 37 to 32 percent.
The latest CROP poll shows Premier Pauline Marois and Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard are the most likely to be seen as the best leaders in Quebec, with 26 and 25 percent support. Francois Legault is seen as best leader by 13 percent of Quebecers.
The poll also shows a remarkable increase in satisfaction for the provincial government, leaping from 33 percent in November to 41 percent.
That is the strongest satisfaction numbers the PQ government has seen since January 2013.
CROP told La Presse that the gains in PQ support come from outside Montreal and among less-educated people, two groups that are the most likely to also support the Charter of Values.
The CROP poll also showed more support for sovereignty than is usual, with 44 percent of Quebecers supporting independence and 56 percent opposed.
But there is a caveat: La Presse only published results that redistributed the number of undecided and undeclared voters.
Jean-Francois Lisée was pleased with the poll results, telling CTV Montreal that higher sovereignty support showed Quebecers were "distancing" themselves from the rest of the country because "Canada has no added value."
"So I think the distancing between Quebec and Canada is growing. It's as though in many levels Quebec is already independent in its mind in its way of making decisions and it doesn't see why it should ask permission to our neighbours for some important decisions we have to make and I think this is the most important trend, the de-Canadianization of Quebec and the de-Quebecization of Canada," said Lisée.
In comparison the most recent Leger poll showed only 33 percent of Quebecers were in favour of sovereignty while 51 percent preferred being Canadian citizens, with 16 percent saying they were undecided or refusing to give an answer.
CROP conducted the poll from Dec. 4 to 9 among 1,000 members of its web panel. CROP claims to have no margin of error because it selects its polling participants based on a sampling reflective of the population.