Polls show race for second heating up in Quebec election
Polls heading into the final week of the Quebec election campaign show much of the same results since the first week: a race for second behind the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ).
On Sunday evening, poll aggregator site Quebec125.com has the CAQ winning 97 seats (between 82 and 104), identical to a week ago. By Wednesday, that number was 92.
After being stuck at a projected seat count of one since the beginning of the campaign, the Parti Québécois (PQ) and its leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon saw a surge of support.
Qubec125.com has the PQ with three projected seats (between one and 11 possible) and a voter percentage of 14 (up from nine at the beginning of the campaign).
The party's candidate in Camille-Laurin (formerly Bourget), now stands a chance with the elimination of Québec solidaire (QS) candidate Marie-Eve Rancourt from the race.
CAQ candidate and incumbent Richard Campeau remains ahead of St-Pierre Plamondon 42 to 39 per cent.
Méganne Perry Mélançon also may keep her seat for the PQ in Gaspé, as CAQ candidate Stéphane Sainte-Croix leads by just two percentage points (33 to 31), and Joël Arseneau may keep his Magdalen Islands seat, as he's leading CAQ candidate Jonathan Lapierre by to (34 to 32).
Matane-Matapédia is the one seat all but sure to remain PQ with no one really challenging Pascal Bérubé.
The Liberals (PLQ) are set to remain the official opposition after polls have their seat count up from 17 to 20 (between 14 and 26) and Québec solidaire remains at 10 (between five and 16).
The Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) is static at zero (zero to five).
These numbers do not match the percentage of voter intention.
Polls on Wednesday showed the Liberals at 16 per cent of the vote, followed by the PCQ and QS at 15 per cent and the PQ rising to 14 per cent.
That number is up from 12 per cent on Sunday, but the PQ must still fight to translate that voting percentage to actual seats.
PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon responded to the bump in polls on Tuesday morning.
"It's encouraging, but it raises an issue that I said," he said. "One very important question that we have to ask ourselves: Do we want to give full and unlimited power to one single person, François Legault, without any opposition, or do we want strong opposition parties so as to balance the power and make sure that some people are looking after important issues for our future."
RED TO ORANGE TO BLUE?
Some were tipping QS to take over as the official opposition party, but if orange is to rise, it will need to translate voter intentions into seats and swing several key ridings.
The party's Jean-Lesage incumbent, Sol Zanetti, is a percentage point behind his CAQ rival, Christiane Gamache (34 to 33 per cent).
If Gamache wins the seat, it will have gone from red to orange to blue in the last three elections.
QS incumbent in Rouyn-Noranda-Temiscamingue Émilise Lessard-Therrien looks likely to lose her seat to the CAQ's Daniel Bernard, as polls have him leading by 39-31 in yet another red-orange-blue swing.
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What may have QS leaders frustrated the most, however, is the CAQ's gains in Sherbrooke.
Co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois has been in the riding a lot in recent weeks in an attempt to keep control in the Eastern Townships riding, once represented by former Liberal premier Jean Charest.
QS incumbent Christine Labrie, however, is polling at 33 per cent, four points behind CAQ candidate Caroline St-Hilaire.
The CAQ's Geneviève Hébert also looks likely to hold onto her seat in the neighbouring Eastern Townships riding of Saint-François, despite QS candidate Mélissa Généreux threatening it a week ago.
Hébert is leading 35 to 30.
LIBERAL BLITZ WORKING
Liberal leader Dominique Anglade's media blitz Tuesday seems to be generating attention, at least on Google.
She was the most popular search on Google, followed by PCQ leader Éric Duhaime at 69 per cent and St-Pierre Plamondon at 61 per cent.
CAQ leader François Legault was below half at 41 per cent and Nadeau-Dubois rounded out the five at 34.
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