There's been a lot of buzz lately over the small snippets of a recent federal Forum poll that shows the Liberals gaining steadily on the NDP, especially in the province of Quebec where according to Forum, the Liberals lead with 28% of the vote, the NDP second with 25%, the Cons at 24% and the Bloc with 20%.
Now, that's got to be a frightening number for the NDP, who despite still sitting at roughly 28% in the national polls, would automatically lose their advantage to the Liberals without Quebec (concentrated votes versus across-the-board numbers with the NDP).
But can this poll actually be true? Well, it's not necessarily alone - Nanos gives high results for the Liberals in Quebec as well, with penalties against the Conservatives. While the last CROP poll have the Conservatives and Bloc a better advantage, and Léger gave the Liberals and Bloc the advantage against the NDP. In other words, there is major disagreement about where the parties are placed against the NDP - is it the Bloc, Conservatives, or Liberals who are becoming the alternative? No one seems to be willing to settle.
Every other pollster so far has shown a low-30's NDP but with the other parties not coming too close. My current rolling average for Quebec is 33% NDP, 24% Bloc, 20% Liberal, and 18% Conservative, including the three mentioned above, showing how much the numbers are moving, and yet at the same time aren't, due to disagreements about where everyone is.
Now, that's still a good race, but what Forum is showing is essentially a four-way tie, and that's unprecedented.
Does this make it suspect? Maybe, but it could just be the start of a trend. Whatever we are seeing, however, shows how fickle Quebec voters are, and if the Red Wave decides to visit us by the time of the next election, we need to be sure we do a better job of retaining those voters than the NDP apparently have.