Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sondage Says...

It's been a busy week for political polls...I'll have the May poll dance up by week's end, but with two Quebec-only polls in field at the same time, this is a good chance to take a close look at a province which is all too often overlooked by both pundits and politicians - Quebec.

Leger, CROP, and Ipsos were all in field last week - if we take a weighted average based on their Quebec samples, we get the following:

Liberals 35%
Bloc 35%
CPC 14%
NDP 13%

Pas pire, no matter how you slice it, considering the Liberals have generally been about 15 points back of the Bloc in all three post-Chretien elections (although they did hit 34% in 2004).

I haven't been able to see the regional tables at all, but the CROP poll does detail the collapse of Harper's Quebec City Fortress:

Puis, les troupes de Stephen Harper ont glissé au troisième rang des intentions de vote dans leur bastion de la région de Québec, tout juste derrière le Bloc québécois et à 10 points du Parti libéral. À ce chapitre, le PLC termine au premier rang, avec 33%. C'est du jamais vu depuis janvier 2004, soit quelques semaines avant la publication du rapport dévastateur de la vérificatrice générale sur le scandale des commandites.

The Liberals haven't won a seat in Quebec City since 2000, and finished third in every riding there last election - usually well over 10,000 votes behind. With little organization in the region, they'll clearly have to put some resources into it - all the more evidence why it makes sense to have a 308 riding strategy, where you at least have a base level of organization in every riding that can be mobilized when things like this happen.

So what does this all mean electorally? Well, it's too early to tell, but a real quick and dirty seat projection based on the 2008 results shows the Liberals poised to win between 20-30 seats in Quebec. And that's just the way the Quebec map usually plays out - in the 1997 election for instance, the Bloc edged the Liberals 38% to 37%, but beat them on seats 44 to 26.

So while these gains are nice, they also show the 66-seat gap won't be closed in Quebec alone. Even in the best-case Quebec scenario, the Liberals will need to flip at least 20-25 seats elsewhere, in order to get back to government. (certainly doable, given stories like this)

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