QUEBEC – Tonight, the Quebec government is up for grabs.
The current Liberal administration of Premier Phillippe Couillard is facing a strong challenge from the centre-right Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), led by Francois Legault. Legault, the former boss of Air Transat, has seen leads in two previous campaigns slip away, and his CAQ began the campaign at 36 per cent popularity in the polls, but is now tied in opinion with the Quebec Liberals at 30 per cent support.
Those numbers are deceptive, as among Francophone voters, CAQ leads the Liberals 36 per cent to 17. While many pundits say sovereignty is dead in Quebec, that doesn’t appear to be the case. A former radical Leftist coalition, Quebec Solidaire, has been surging in support as it gains respectability, and sits at 16 per cent in opinion polls behind the Parti Quebecois’s 20 per cent standing.
Thus, the combined pro-independence polling stands at 36 per cent support – but it is unlikely to translate to a whole lot of seats in the National Assembly. Either of the separatist parties could hold the balance of power in a minority government. In the Pontiac region the current member of provincial parliament is Liberal Andre Fortin. The riding has been Liberal since 1970.
- Courtesy Oldies 107.7 FM