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A Quebec battlefield, and it’s not the Plains of Abraham


 

Massive-sample, oddly-long-time-in-the-field Quebec poll from a reputable firm shows the Bloc at 33%, the Conservatives at 26%, the Liberals at 23%, the NDP at 12% and the Greens at 5%. This compares to 42%-25%-21%-8%-4% at the 2006 elections.

I think it’s interesting to make that comparison. The Bloc is up only a little from recent doldrums, and still off 9 points from its last election performance. The Conservatives are up about a point from last time, though down from pre-election peaks — turns out there’s a rich gala vote in parts of Quebec, at least. The two-point Liberal uptick from 2006 is one of the best performances Stéphane Dion has logged in Quebec since he became leader, but that’s not saying much. The NDP is also down from recent highs, and they’d have to do better than 12% to hope for any gains in Quebec.

To me it looks like substantially status-quo results in Quebec if these numbers held up.


 

A Quebec battlefield, and it’s not the Plains of Abraham

  1. We haven’t had a CROP poll in ages, though (have we?). I like those ones because they give you all the nifty cross-tabs. You can always find some solace for whatever your party’s particular afflication is, in the cross-tabs. For instance, I usually want to look at the Island of Montreal numbers. Nothing detailed from Leger Marketing on that tonight, is there?

  2. Wouldn’t a BQ drop that large still translate into significant seat gains for the Tories in outer-Montreal Quebec and the Liberals in Montreal? Just perhaps not the Mulroney-style blowout Harper was hoping for.

  3. Enh…I think the margins in most of the ridings the Conservatives didn’t win were so substantial they’d be hard to close, but I stand to be fact-checked on that.

  4. Should be interesting to see how it changes after Wednesday…

    Austin

  5. This is big news. Bloc way higher than I thought. If this were election day they’d lose, what, 5 seats max, counting Papineau. If this is accurate, Harper’s majority is looking pretty shaky. How beautiful would it be, for my ilk, if the arts-bashing contributed to it; though I would have thought it couldn’t hurt him in ADQ territory.

  6. These numbers are really something. The Tories better keep Montcalm, or the Bloc will Wolfe down those juicy Montreal seats and a Conservative majority with them.

    (Hey, I didn’t start it.)

  7. Its interesting that trying to find the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City leads you to a very small sign with the Canada wordmark called “Battlefieds Park”, which combines the Plains of Abraham and the “Des Braves” Park to remember both the British and French soldiers. The General Wolfe Monument also leaves much to be desired (quel surprise)

    I also had a hard time locating the Robert Borden Conscription Museum…just a lof of funny looks when I asked for directions.

  8. With separatism no longer the issue of the day in Que, it appears the Bloc has essentially become a protest vote.

    Given the long sample period, and the fact that the channel was clearly changed from culture to the economy as we approached the end of the past week,

    I suspect Harper’s numbers will go up again (as with the previous leger poll).

    We’ll see how much.

    What’s interesting, is that with Harper’s numbers in the ROC he may no longer need Que to form a majority.

  9. does anyone else share my machiavellian theory that harper doesn’t want to win too big in quebec? and that the culture cuts may have been aimed at deliberately creating a stiffer, smaller quebec base?
    if he took say 15-20 seats then that’s much more manageable than a quebec landslide that would raise expectations that could only be dashed. with quebec somewhat evenly split between lib-ndp-tory-bloc vote and split 3 ways in the provincial assembly too, the rest of canada can press its advantage in all sorts of ways.

  10. i guess what i’m saying is that harper long term wants to create a constituency in quebec that identifies as being Tory, rather than just keeping people voting Conservative, if you see the difference

  11. Harper already HAS the ADQ vote. He’s trying to grow from that.

  12. “To me it looks like substantially status-quo results in Quebec if these numbers held up.”

    Agreed. The last Leger poll pre-election had the Conservatives actually leading the Bloc 34-32 so there is some volatility there. Assuming Harper performs well in the French debate, and his numbers hold up eleswhere in Canada, two reasonable asssumptions I think, I don’t think these numbers will be the same on election day. I think rather that the Conservatives will close the gap with the Bloc and perhaps surpass them.

  13. DR, what i mean is that he doesn’t just want the `ADQ vote’. he wants those people to start thinking of themselves as Tories. Seeking votes in the short term wins votes in the short term and leads to Dief and mulroney wipeouts in the long term. I think cultivating a long term, deep Tory tendency is the aim

  14. keith c. – that’s an interesting observation, paticularly how you’ve framed it in your second comment.

    As it’s starting to dawn on some people, Harper is nothing, if not a good politician. He wants to win as many seats as he can in Quebec.

    The best way for him to do that is peel off as many votes from the Bloc nationalist coalition along the left-right issues spectrum. That’s what the ADQ did to the PQ last year. The PQ nationalist coalition splintered along the left-right divide resulting in a bevy of seats for the ADQ. The BQ is a similarly vulnerable. In fact, Duceppe’s BQ is probably further left than Boisclair’s PQ was.

    That means you won’t get a landslide of Diefenbacker-like or Mulroney-like proportions, but you’ll get, depending on how the strategy works, up to 30 seats. And as you said Keith, you have the beginnings of a sound party base, or a broadening of it (they have 10 seats in bleu Quebec already).

    DR – I doubt that the Conservatives think they have the ADQ vote sown up. They would be thrilled to have the ADQ vote that Dumont got on election night.

  15. thanks, jarrid!
    but I’m not sure
    ” He wants to win as many seats as he can in Quebec.”
    is quite right. He wants to win as many seats as he can without boxing himself into a future corner.

    As we’ve seen with the `ADQ vote’ itself, it’s a bit of a chimera, and fickle, and the ADQ seems poised to lose half of it next Quebec provincial election because Dumont doesnt know what to do with his political capital..

  16. Hmmm sounds to me like there is some chicken counting going on among Conservatives. Perhaps a little too soon?

  17. Harper mightn’t even get a majority this time out — polls are tightening…

  18. Brian: “Its interesting that trying to find the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City leads you to a very small sign with the Canada wordmark called “Battlefieds Park”, which combines the Plains of Abraham and the “Des Braves” Park to remember both the British and French soldiers. The General Wolfe Monument also leaves much to be desired (quel surprise)”

    It’s not small at all, it’s vast. You may have been in the wrong place. The Battlefield Park lines the St. Lawrence for a considerable distance. “Parc des Braves,” which though very nice is much smaller, commemorates the Battle of Ste. Foy (1760), which was the replay of 1759 (minus, of course, Montcalm & Wolfe). Wolfe & Montcalm have a shared monument, a rather grandiose obelisk with a nice Latin inscription about the fact that it’s a shared monument, so I don’t know what you saw by way of a “Wolfe Monument” – the little plaque on the battlefield which shows where he is thought to have been hit? Or something. Jeez, man, if you can’t even be bothered to buy the cheapest tourist guide when touring Quebec City, quit ragging on our francophone comrades.

  19. Every Canadian should recognize the inscription —

    “Courage gave them a common death
    History a common fame
    Posterity a common monument.”

  20. (In translation, I mean.)

  21. Hear hear, Ben, esp. since it’s such a beautiful inscription. The Latin is even better:

    mortem virtus communem
    famam historia
    monumentum posteritas dedit

    because it very nicely uses one of Latin’s best features, ellipsis, so that “communem” (common) is implied for both “famam” and “monumentum,” and you have to wait for the end to get the poignant “dedit” (gave), which supplies the verb for which “virtus,” “historia,” and “posteritas” alike are the subject. It’s really all about that “communem,” and it’s a beautiful 18th C sentiment, before British and Quebec nationalism took hold of either of them, saying basically that they both fell in keeping with a shared sense of duty. I have an epic poem about them which you might like, Ben.

  22. Tried this on the Hill & Knowlton Election Predictor, but you can’t do it, b/c it can’t work with the Quebec-only vote split (it treats them as national numbers, so using those numbers yields 73 Bloc seats in Quebec).

    Anyone know of any other prediction tool out there?

  23. Ah, the dear old third declension. I knew it well, once upon a time. (Then Russian crowded out my Latin in my mind.)

    Of course, a cynic would suggest that the monument was an attempt by the British authorities to win the loyalty of the Franco-Canadien populace… But it’s a nice turn of phrase, and Old Quebec City is a lovely place.

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