Thursday, 6 September 2012

Quebec PQ win but no plurality.

The Election in Quebec has resulted in disappointment for nearly all the parties 

The opinion polls had pointed to a PQ victory even a plurality.

Polling firmLast date of pollingLinkQLPPQCAQQSONGPQOther
Forum ResearchSeptember 3, 2012PDF2936256220
EkosSeptember 2, 2012PDF23.236.024.510.75.5
Léger MarketingAugust 31, 2012PDF2733287311
CROPAugust 29, 2012HTML2632289221
Forum ResearchAugust 28, 2012PDF2833278220
CROPAugust 26, 2012HTML2633287331
Léger MarketingAugust 24, 2012PDF2733287221
Forum ResearchAugust 20, 2012PDF3529249120
Léger MarketingAugust 16, 2012PDF2833276320
CROPAugust 14, 2012HTML2734257231
Forum ResearchAugust 13, 2012PDF313525620
Léger MarketingAugust 8, 2012PDF3132276220
CROPAugust 8, 2012HTML2932218234
Forum ResearchAugust 7, 2012PDF323424630
Forum ResearchAugust 1, 2012PDF383914430
Léger MarketingJuly 31, 2012PDF3133217242
2008 ElectionDecember 8, 2008HTML42.

However the final result was that they fell far short of a majority and although they have recovered a great deal of lost ground,  the fact that they can't even raise a majority with Quebec Soladire, to push through a referendum wil be frustrating.

e • d Summary of the September 4, 2012National Assembly of Quebec election results
Party[37]Party leader[37]Candidates[38]SeatsPopular vote
2008Dissol.2012Change %Number %Change (pp)
Parti QuébécoisPauline Marois125514754+343%1,393,54031.94%-3.23
LiberalJean Charest125666450-1640%1,361,61831.20%-10.88
Coalition Avenir QuébecFrançois Legault1257919+1215%1,180,75827.05%+10.68
Québec solidaireFrançoise David
Amir Khadir††
Option nationaleJean-Martin Aussant120*1*82,8571.90%*
GreenClaude Sabourin6643,5171.00%-1.1

For the Liberals who lost their leader Jean Charest and several ministers the scale of their defeat was far less than polls had predicted where at times they were running CAQ

For the new Party CAQ it was also a disappointment they had received a reasonable percentage vote but they like PQ had not gained as much predicted  from disillusionment with the Liberals and they failed to raise to the heights of the party they replaced the similar  right wing anti -sovereignty  party ADO  who won 41 in the 2008 election seats and forced PQ into second place.

Quebec Solidaire  will be celebrating Françoise David joining co-leader  Amir Khadir in the Assemblée  but failed to make a break through else where.

Option Nationale  a centre-left party that saw PQ not promoting Independence  enough saw leaderJean-Martin Aussant lose it seat. Though it was always going to be  a tough call for a party formed just a year ago and failed to get any media support as CAO had done .

They did manage to produce the star performer of the election in Catherine Dorion whose  youtiube video on why she joined ON went viral.

The chance of PQ managing to push through a Independence referendum and they are likely to  to forge deals with either the Liberals or the CAQ or both in order to govern.Who will support them on francophone legislation . Defeat on a confidence motion would prompt a new election.

A former PQ minister and one-time proponent of Québec separation,CAQ  leader Legault now advocates taking the sovereignty question off the table for the foreseeable future.

Of course unless its forbidden under the constitution the Liberals and CAO could form a government.

There unlikely to be any enthusiasm for another referendum an PQ leader Pauline Marois may decide that the next Election will result in a majority but with the Fedral party and current oppostion  NDP who made big gains in Quebec in the last Federal election at the expense of Bloc Quebecois   announcing they will contest the next Quebec election there may be even greater complications in the Elections . Particularly as some NDP members have has  also members of PQ and QS

Any Nationalist in Wales and Scotland who hoped that a PQ victory would result in a new Nation emerging and that this might somehow boost their own aspirations, should be disappointed for now  bit the future of Quebec is still undecided and perhaps we will get a clearer  idea at the next election.


  1. Stepping back to look at the wider picture, we shouldn't be too disappointed in the PQ's performance. Charest had a working majority in the National Assembly, and didn't need to call elections for another year. He wouldn't have called this election unless he expected the PLQ to hold on. And to be fair to him, the PLQ did perform far better than people expected. So perhaps the real problem was the opinion polls. There seems to be a "hidden" Liberal vote, i.e. people who would never say they'll vote Liberal, but do so anyway.

    Another factor is the unfairness of the first past the post system. CAQ got 27.1% of the vote, but just 15.2% of the seats. The PLQ go only 4% more of the vote, but more than double the number of seats. So even if the PQ had managed to get say 35% of the vote, and with it probably a majority of seats, it would hardly have been fair.

    Constitutionally, the largest party is invariably asked to form a government. Only if the PQ fail to do so would the second party be given a chance. But anyway, it's hard to see the PLQ and CAQ (the Plaque?) being able to work together on much. I foresee a PQ/CAQ alliance for the purpose of pushing through stronger language/cultural legislation. But once that's done, I don't think there's too much room for agreement on everything else. So we might see another election within a couple of years. However politicians are quite prone to change allegiance (a lot of CAQuistes were formerly in the PQ for example) and they might be persuaded to switch back now that the PQ are in government.

    The referendum was never really an issue, in my opinion. Yes, the PQ want independence, but they would never call a referendum if they were likely to lose it, so an immediate referendum wasn't on the cards. The name of the game is to move to the point where they can call one, and the game plan is to try and get control over more things gradually, knowing that resistance or refusal in Ottawa will bring more people over to thinking that independence is the only answer. Perhaps the PQ hoped they could reach that point in three or four years from now, but I think that was optimistic. Perhaps the CAQ idea of not having a referendum for ten years will turn out to be just about right.

  2. Let's remember that the SNP formed a minority government the election before last. They did well and then promised a referendum in the latter half of their next term. They went onto win a virtual landslide in a system that is designed to prevent landslides and are now gearing themselves up for their referendum. The whole process of going from a Labour government to possible freedom will have taken about 10 years.

    We could be so lucky.

  3. MH and WNB

    You may be right but the reason that Jean-Martin Aussant left PQ to form Option Nationale was his frustration with the PQ dilly dallying on the sovereignty issue.

    True ON did badly but they were only in existence for a year and attracted a lot of young support as Catherine Donion showed brought a fresh approach to the issue. Aussant making a intriguing the economics case as I posted on 22 August
    herehttp ://

    (why cant you link in the comments page?)

    Also there is no reason that PLQ and CAQ can'r form a coalition mid term.

    PQ need to make the case for Independence simply working through the federal system getting crumbs from Ottawa is not thee way,