A new poll shows Quebec's independence movement appears to be losing steam among the province's youth.

Once the central issue defining and dividing young Quebecers, as many as 63 per cent of young people in the last 1970s said they would vote for a sovereign Quebec.

According to a Leger Marketing poll conducted last month, now only 32 per cent would vote for independence.

"What's the cause that will cause you to be a separatist today? I think that's what the movement is looking for. Why should you be in favour of sovereignty?" said Christian Bourque of Leger Marketing.

"Support for soverignty will physically die with the baby boomers," he said.

The poll numbers come as the Bloc Quebecois, with only four seats in the House of Commons nears extinction, as the Parti Quebecois trails in the polls, and as Francois Legault -- a man who has put independence on the backburner as he pushes forward with a new party, the Coalition for the Future of Quebec -- soars in popularity.

Though there's still a flicker of support, the cause is no longer urgent to Quebec's youth, said political analyst Antonia Maioni.

"The sovereigntist movement as a whole was about bringing back a certain amount of autonomy and economic power to Quebec. In many respects some of that has been gained by other measures," she said.

Marois says she's passed multiple tests

Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois is expressing exasperation with the latest reports of an internal coup against her leadership.

She made the remarks while campaigning for a byelection in Quebec's Gaspe region today.

This after a report in Montreal La Presse that a party riding association planned to force a discussion on Marois' leadership onto the agenda of an upcoming party convention.

That convention has now been postponed, until after the Dec. 5 byelection in Bonaventure riding. The party says it wants to focus on winning the riding, previously held by the Liberals.

Marois fired back when asked today whether the byelection would be a test of her leadership.

She told a news conference: "I spend all my time passing tests." Marois notes that her party recently won a difficult byelection, and that she received a 93 per cent support for her leadership at a party convention.

Now she says it's the party's turn to pass a test -- and put all the squabbling aside.

There has been increased grumbling about Marois' leadership in recent weeks, as surveys suggest the PQ remains unpopular and is failing to capitalize on all the scandals plaguing the Charest government.

Polls have placed both major parties behind the newly created Coalition For Quebec's Future, the right-of-cente outfit created by ex-PQ cabinet minister Francois Legault.

But one recent survey suggested that a PQ led by ex-Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe -- instead of Marois -- could actually have defeated that fledgling party.

With a report from The Canadian Press