The Pollcast: Countdown to Quebec's election begins
The CBC Pollcast, hosted by CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier, explores the world of electoral politics, political polls and the trends they reveal.
In a little less than one year, Quebecers will go to the polls in what is shaping up to be an election hotly contested by four political parties.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard shuffled his cabinet on Wednesday to try to give his Liberals their best shot at securing re-election. But after governing the province for 12 of the last 14 years, are the Quebec Liberals running out of steam?
Polls suggest that the Liberals are still the favourite to win next year's election. But after winning the 2014 provincial vote by more than 16 percentage points, the Liberal lead has dwindled to just four points. That could send a potentially volatile minority government to Quebec's National Assembly.
Whether the Parti Québécois or the Coalition Avenir Québec will prove to be the Liberals' biggest challenge is unclear. The centre-right, federalist CAQ under former PQ cabinet minister François Legault has been the second-ranked party in most polls and pulled off a byelection upset last week in a safe Liberal riding.
But the CAQ also appears to have a ceiling, having rarely cracked 30 per cent in the polls.
The PQ has been floundering, its vote eaten away by the sovereigntist, left-wing Québec Solidaire.
Support for independence has softened in the province and PQ Leader Jean-François Lisée has accordingly promised not to hold a referendum in the first mandate of a PQ government. Nevertheless, the PQ has not led in any poll in over two years and some surveys put it on track for its worst electoral performance since it was founded.
To help break down the political landscape in Quebec as the countdown to the 2018 election begins, Pollcast host Éric Grenier is joined by Christian Bourque, executive vice-president of the polling firm Léger.
Listen to the full discussion above — or subscribe to the CBC Pollcast and listen to past episodes.