But no more. Quebec has decided to hold a provincial election by September 4th, making this politically dead summer come back to life as the cast of characters in la belle province gets set to go on stage.
As such I've created another projection system and page, where you can see updates when and where they happen, as well as good coverage of this election when and where I can - after all, I don't speak French, I only have the multilingual keyboard setting. So if you're interested in following this election, keep an eye on this blog, and the click the link to the right called "Quebec 2012" for updates. Its pretty basic right now, but it'll grow with time.
Anyways, let's jump into it with a recent poll from Forum Research.
Forum Research (August 1st, 2012):
Parti Québécois: 39% - 73 seats
Parti libéral: 38% - 49 seats
Coalition avenir: 14% - 3 seats
Québec solidaire: 4%
Parti vert: 3%
Ah Forum, I missed you. This poll is another somewhat-trend breaker, showing the two traditional parties at high levels compared to what pollsters Léger and CROP have shown recently, which is all low-thirties. The CAQ and QS take big hits, becoming irrelevant and doing really no better than what they did in 2008, with the CAQ doing worse than what the adéquistes and Mario Dumont managed.
Does that mean Forum's numbers are outliers? Maybe, but probably not as much as you think - this isn't out of the realm of possibility for any of the parties.
One thing for sure, it is definitely a happy poll for Jean Charest on several levels. Despite being behind, the government is retaining plurality support (40%) in the somehow-not-dead-yet tuition fee dispute, versus the students (33%). That can only help Charest, given Marois' recruitment of a certain candidate, plus the decision to put the PQ's official stance on the tuition increase the same as the Republican's on Obamacare, also known as the stupid position.
The Liberals are also doing well among francophones (32%) and dominate among anglos and allophones, according to Forum. 32% might seem low but that's really around the historical level for the federalist party.
And all this in spite of his approval ratings, which are 33% approval vs. 60% disapproval. PQ Leader Pauline Marois' numbers are not too better but match her party's numbers (37% vs. 51%), while CAQ Leader François Legault is ahead of his party, though still not positing a positive score (30% vs. 44%).
And once again, no one cares about Amir Khadir, Claude Sabourin, or Jean-Martin Aussant, especially Aussant who they didn't even poll for. Aw.
However, this poll could be saying something big about this election: that for all their recent boost in support, the CAQ and to an extent, the QS, have a very squishy soft vote. For the CAQ, that is a serious danger; the more they hover around 2008's ADQ numbers, the more likely we're going to see another PLQ or PQ majority. For the QS, it doesn't matter as much - they're only aiming to win in Khadir's Mercier riding and Françoise David in Gouin, which they could pull off. However, the political climate right now is one of change, as witnessed by the NDP wave last year. And if neither of these third parties can capitalize on it, then its no one's fault but their own.
Speaking of the NDP, Forum has not been kind to them in this poll: 34% NDP, 24% Bloc, 19% Liberal, and 15% Conservative. That's good for 48 NDP seats, 13 Liberals, and 7 apiece for the Bloc and Cons. Not a huge drop but its down enough that any lower, the NDP start losing seats in the dozens. Yay!