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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:34 am    Post subject: support slips for Quebec liberals , CAQ rises new poll Reply with quote

( some provincial news out of quebec , even with there strong performance during the recent floods , support has been slipping for the quebec liberals . the CAQ has made some gains in quebec city and montreal areas . the QS a left wing party is also doing better than expected )

Ethical concerns hurt Quebec Liberals and PQ, boost support for CAQ: poll

Philip Authier, Montreal Gazette Philip Authier, Montreal Gazette
More from Philip Authier, Montreal Gazette

Published on: May 17, 2017 | Last Updated: May 17, 2017 6:00 AM EDT

This month is all good news for François Legault's CAQ, pollster David Valentin says. "The question is: will they be able to hold onto their gains?"

QUEBEC — Dogged by ethical questions, support for Quebec’s governing Liberals has dramatically slipped, leaving the party in a statistical tie with the Coalition Avenir Québec for the first time in recent memory, a new poll says.

And the Liberals seem to be hurting even in their fortress areas like Montreal, where the CAQ is showing signs of picking up traditional Liberal, non-francophone voters. The Liberals and CAQ are now tied on the island and region.

Meanwhile, the Parti Québécois remains stuck in neutral with the minority demographic, losing out to the other left-wing party, Québec solidaire, which has solidified earlier gains and is polling in double digits – 11 per cent – for the first time in its history among non-francophones.

In fact, the PQ is not leading in any one demographic group, not seniors, not boomers and not youth.

The findings are included in a new Mainstreet poll conducted for the Montreal Gazette and Postmedia. Mainstreet polled 1,501 Quebecers from May 11-12. The survey was conducted through live interviews using land and cell lines instead of the Internet as is common practice.

Broken down, the poll says support for Liberals has dropped eight percentage points since a Mainstreet “post budget” poll conducted March 29-30. The loss comes despite applause for the government over its handling of the massive flooding in the province.

The budget honeymoon the Liberals enjoyed was short-lived, as ethics came back to haunt the party, Mainstreet executive vice-president David Valentin said. The trend started to show up in an unpublished April 12-13 poll, which showed the Liberals slipping (down to 33 per cent.)

The May-11-12 poll confirms the trend.

“They didn’t hold on to any of it,” Valentin said. “They hit the ethics wall and it was downhill from there. Both the Liberals and PQ have lost ground to the CAQ as ethics have come back to the fore of the provincial conversation.”

According to Mainstreet, the Liberals have the support of 31 per cent of voters, while support for the CAQ is 32 per cent — a nine percentage point increase from the March poll.

The PQ has the support of 24 per cent of voters – down two percentage points from March – while QS is at 14 per cent, up two percentage points.

Among francophones, who make up the majority of voters in most ridings and actually decide who governs, the CAQ leads with 35 per cent of the vote while the PQ is second with 26 per cent and the Liberals third with 25 per cent. QS has 14 per cent of francophones.

Overall, the Liberals still bag 77 per cent of non-francophone votes (down from 87 per cent in March), the PQ has four per cent, the CAQ 9 per cent and QS 11 per cent.

It’s the regional breakdown that may sound alarm bells at Liberal headquarters. While, as expected, the Liberals and PQ are well behind the CAQ in the Quebec City region, the CAQ is making inroads in the greater Montreal area.

In Montreal, the CAQ has managed to even itself with the Liberals – both at 32 per cent – while the PQ’s support remains mired at 23 per cent.

QS – which recently recruited star candidate Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois – saw its Montreal score stabilize, from 13 per cent in March to 14 per cent in May.

“The numbers are challenging for the PQ — particularly given the sustained growth of QS,” Valentin said. “The PQ is not leading in a single demographic category right now.

“The situation is untenable for their success and it is no wonder that they are pushing aggressively to have co-operation (with QS).”

Although most of the month’s headlines on ethics have been about the Liberals, the PQ has had its share — particularly about its dispute with Quebec’s chief electoral officer over illegal party contributions.

On Tuesday, PQ leader Jean-François Lisée was forced to boot one of his MNAs, Gaétan Lelièvre, out of the caucus amid allegations he accepted gifts from an engineering firm.

Meanwhile, the CAQ has made ethical issues its bread-and butter even if it, too, had to kick an MNA out of caucus in January for ethical issues.

On Monday, the CAQ launched a series of social network attack ads on the Liberals featuring the former Charbonneau commission’s chief prosecutor, Sonia LeBel.

“For the CAQ, this month is all good news,” said Valentin. “The question is: will they be able to hold onto their gains and grow their support into the next election?”

Valentin said both the Liberals and PQ face challenges. The PQ needs cooperation with QS, which is to make a decision on such convergence this weekend at a policy convention. Meanwhile former Liberals Nathalie Normandeau and Marc-Yvan Côté are headed to trial in the fall while a cloud hangs over former premier Jean Charest, who is under investigation by the anti-corruption unit.

The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.53 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error is greater for sub samples.

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support slips for Quebec liberals , CAQ rises new poll

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