Five days left: Pollsters, bookies and Gilles Duceppe weigh-in on Quebec election

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Who is going to win the Quebec election?

That's going to be the topic of an endless number of columns, political TV panels and radio talk shows over the next week.

With just five days left in the campaign, the pollsters are suggesting that Philippe Couillard's Liberals are going reclaim the National Assembly. A new Forum Research poll, released on Tuesday, pegs the Liberals at 41 per cent in popular support, the Parti Quebecois at 29 per cent and the Coalition Avenir Quebec at 19 per cent.

If you're pulling for Couillard, don't get too excited — not just yet.

You'll recall that just days before the 2012 election, Forum predicted a "comfortable majority" for the PQ.

In their final sampling before that election, they had the PQ at 36 per cent, the Liberals at 29 per cent and the CAQ at 25 per cent. The actual results were 31.9 per cent for the PQ, 31.2 per cent for the Liberals and 27.1 per cent for the CAQ.

To be fair to Forum, they weren't the only ones to get it wrong.

[ Related: Head of Montreal Muslim Council decries PQ candidates’ discriminatory comments ]

Perhaps following the lead of the pollsters, the bookies are bullish on the Liberals as well.

According to bodog.ca, the odds of the Quebec Liberals winning the election are 1/4 and for the PQ, 3/1.

Bodog also pegged several over/under numbers:

- 2014 Quebec Election - Total Seats Won in the Quebec National Assembly for the PLQ (Quebec Liberal Party)
Over/Under 64½

- 2014 Quebec Election - Total Seats Won in the Quebec National Assembly for the PQ (Parti Quebecois)
Over/Under 53½

- 2014 Quebec Election - Popular Vote % for the PLQ (Quebec Liberal Party)
Over/Under 42½

- 2014 Quebec Election - Popular Vote % for the PQ (Parti Quebecois)
Over/Under 31½

[ Related: English-speaking students file injunction after being blocked from voting in Quebec election ]

Gilles Duceppe is one person that isn't ready to crown Couillard.

The former separatist Bloc Quebecois leader contends that the PQ haven't had the best campaign: he thinks star-candidate Pierre Karl Peladeau should have been better-prepared by the party and he wishes that they would have gone harder against the Liberals on the issue of the constitution.

"Couillard went hard on the referendum [but] at the same time he said he wants to sign the Canadian constitution before 2017 if he has a signal from the rest of Canada.

"But then the question that should have been asked: will you consult people or [would you] do like [Pierre] Trudeau. I'm sure that Couillard would have said 'no no no, not like Trudeau. We'll consult people.'

"If you consult people, you'll make a referendum. There's no alternate way to consult people."

While Duceppe won't make an official prediction — joking that he's a Yogi Berra apostle who doesn't make any predictions "especially those that concern the future" — he warns that there's still a lot of hours left in the campaign.

"It's not over," he said.

"It's going to be very very very close.

"It's going to be [decided] riding by riding and a lot of work to be done on the day of the election to make sure your [supporters] are voting."

(Photo courtesy the Canadian Press)

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