Monday, September 3, 2012

Final Projections for Quebec 2012

I'll be trying to keep this post short, but that time is here: the final projected results, based on polling and momentum and gut-feelings, that I will present for the biggest election since May 2011 - and sadly, like that election, the result isn't a great one.

As I said, the result isn't a great one for Liberals, federalists, and most Canadians - including Quebeckers. In a straight projection, the Parti Québécois led by Charlevoix MNA Pauline Marois would win a majority government just slightly smaller than Charest's 2008 victory, except with barely a third of the vote!

This amazing result is because of the huge number of split ridings between the Parti libéral and Coalition avenir du Québec, and the fact that the péquistes are down roughly 2% from 2008, while the Liberals are down close to 15%. The CAQ has improved upon the results of the old Action démocratique du Québec by about 10%, with third parties like Québec solidaire and Option nationale taking up the rest. The Parti vert and other small parties have no chance in this election, so we won't spend our time on them.

But a straight projection is never useful, hence why I've included ranges. Even then, its still not looking good for the Liberals, who could win up to 45 ridings, but most likely aren't unless they beat the polls by 3-to-5%. Not an impossibility, as Alberta taught us, but its not necessarily the same thing here. No one is scared of Pauline Marois except federalists, and I believe most of them are sticking with the Liberals as it is.

The other competing party that threatens the Liberals is the CAQ, led by former péquiste François Legault, who has focused his campaign on the economy and fighting corruption, versus the péquistes and Liberals trading barbs over the federalist-sovereigntist divide. This campaign has given a lot of momentum to Legault, and really I'm personally glad for that; I feel if I was in Quebec, I may support the CAQ in this election, simply on the basis that they're connected to the reality Quebec is facing, not the old battles of previous decades that no one cares about anymore outside of their core supporters.

But the CAQ isn't likely to form a government this time out, though forming the Official Opposition is a definite possibility. Their range is bween 19 to 39 seats, though a lot of CAQ candidates are just on the margins as well. If they beat the polls by a good amount - like, if they get over 30% and higher - they will definitely form the OO, and could be close enough to the péquistes to compete for government, either in a coalition with the Liberals (it is a possibility) or by themselves. It remains to be seen, but I think we'll see them contend for OO, just not government.

For our minor parties, its going to be a disappointing Tuesday. Québec solidaire, despite nearly doubling their vote from 2008 (3.9%), is only in contention for its currently held seat in Mercier (Amir Khadir's riding), and its next door neighbor were its leader (or co-leader, or whatever) is running, Françoise David in Gouin. Even in the latter's case, I'm not entirely sure she'll win, and is a too close to call riding in my projection.

Jean-Martin Aussant is probably not going to retain his seat in Nicolet-Bécancour, and Option nationale will not be represented in the National Assembly by anyone else. Despite a somewhat successful drive for candidates (they got 123 of 125 ridings filled, much more than the Greens or any other minor party except for Québec solidaire), and between 2-3% of the vote, no other candidate except Aussant has shown strength, and Aussant himself, at least in my projection, is still behind the CAQ candidate by 10%. I'm not ruling it out 100%, but it is an uphill battle.

Anyways, you can see all the numbers on my Quebec projections page, and I recommend it too. I got maps and everything. If you want a summary thats fairly quick-and-easy, here's a list of my calls below. I hope to do well tomorrow - there won't be a liveblog, but I'll definitely be on Twitter. Drop me a line if you want, otherwise enjoy your Labour Day!

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