Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Charest Out In Front

According to a new Leger poll reported in The Gazette:

The survey, conducted between Feb. 7 and 10 by Leger Marketing and made public today, indicates support for Jean Charest's Liberals was at 36 per cent, up from 34 per cent in a Leger poll two weeks earlier.

Andre Boisclair's PQ was at 31 per cent, down from 32 per cent. Mario Dumont's ADQ was at 21 per cent, down from 24 per cent.

However, given the province's demographics, this is still not necessarily enough to win, because:

Liberals remain far behind the PQ among francophones, a crucial electorate because their votes are spread across Quebec, while non-francophones, who tend to vote Liberal, are concentrated in Montreal. Francophones decide the vote in 80 of Quebec's 125 ridings.

Among francophones, Boisclair was supported by 36 per cent of respondents and Charest by 28 per cent. Dumont was at 22 per cent. To win, the Liberals would have to be supported by 35 per cent of francophones, Leger said.

Given the ADQ's current support (21%), there is a distinct possibility of a minority government, which means a March election is still a risky call for Mr. Charest.

And the environment is up to second place in the ranking of issues importance to Quebecers.

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