It's been said that politics in Quebec are in a constant state of flux: Voter loyalty, in that province, is a fleeting thing.
So — if you must — take the latest Leger/Le Devoir survey with a grain of salt. As a snapshot of current public opinion, however, the results are rather interesting.
The first thing that stands out is that Quebecers are souring on the minority Parti Quebecois government.
In terms of voter intention, the poll suggests that the province's Liberals continue to lead Pauline Marois' PQ by a margin of 5 percentage points.
Q: If an election were held today which party would you vote for?
Liberal Party: 37 per cent
Parti Quebecois: 32 per cent
Coalition Avenir Quebec: 19 per cent
According to CTV News, the Liberals' lead has grown three points since October.
And there's more bad news for Marois and her separatist PQ: support for sovereignty is waning.
Q: If a referendum on Quebec sovereignty were held today, would you vote for or against Quebec sovereignty?
For: 33 per cent
Against: 51 per cent
Those numbers might explain why the PQ didn't call a snap election this Fall, as some pundits were predicting. Marois' has never hidden the fact that an independent Quebec is her ultimate goal.
The poll results might also oblige the PQ to cooperate with the CAQ and water down their controversial Values Charter rather than fight an election on it. In its current form, Bill 60, which was introduced to the National Assembly in November, will ban all public employees from wearing religious symbols in public institutions.
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Finally, when asked about federal politicians, those surveyed said their 'favourite son' — their current one at least — is not Justin Trudeau, it's Thomas Mulcair.
The pollsters suggest that a whopping 60 per cent of Quebecers have a positive view of the NDP leader while only 10 per cent have a negative view.
Q: Positive views (federal politicians)
Thomas Mulcair: 60 per cent
Justin Trudeau: 44 per cent
Marc Garneau: 36 per cent
Stéphane Dion: 28 per cent
Elizabeth May: 27 per cent
Interestingly, only 18 per cent of those surveyed have a positive view of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The survey was conducted on the Internet with 1,002 Quebecers between December 2 and December 5, 2013. The survey is accurate within 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.
The full results of the survey can be seen here.
(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)
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