POLITICS

NDP Quebec Support Grows: Liberals And Bloc Quebecois Could Be Swept From Province

06/24/2011 07:43 EDT | Updated 08/24/2011 05:12 EDT
CP File

It’s Quebec’s Fête nationale today, and the province will be decked out in white and blue. But the colours of the Fleur-de-lis may have to compete with a little orange, according to a new poll from CROP.

The New Democrats’ electoral victory in Quebec in the last federal election came as a surprise, and many have called their success a flash in the pan. But more than one month after the campaign has ended, the NDP now enjoys the support of a majority of Quebecers.

The poll, reported by La Presse on Thursday, was conducted online by CROP from June 15 to 20 and surveyed 1,000 people in the province.

Since the election, the New Democrats have picked up ten points in Quebec and now lead with a massive 53 per cent. With this level of support, especially considering how the NDP’s voters are evenly spread across regional and demographic lines in the province, the New Democrats would have a good shot at winning up to 70 seats in Quebec.

The Conservatives are holding firm at 18 per cent, but the Bloc Québécois has dropped seven points since the election and now has the support of only 16 per cent of Quebecers. That is still more than the Liberals, however, who are down four more points to only 10 per cent.

Both the Liberals and the Bloc could be completely swept from the province with these numbers.

At the provincial level, on the other hand, the Liberals are in a good position.

Jean Charest’s party now leads with 35 per cent, ahead of the troubled Parti Québécois at 29 per cent. That is an eight point gain for the Liberals over the last two weeks, and Charest is now seen as the best person for the job of premier by 22 per cent of Quebecers, ahead of Pauline Marois, who is only at 15 per cent.

Neither the ADQ, at 17 per cent, nor Québec Solidaire, at seven per cent, have taken advantage of the PQ’s struggles. Rather François Legault, who will likely form a new party in the fall, is in the best position to benefit. If his future party was on the ballot, it would receive the support of 40 per cent of the province and would easily win a majority government.

But the turbulence in the two main sovereigntist parties of the province has not carried over to how Quebecers view their place in Canada. Support for sovereignty has dropped only slightly, to 38 per cent, while a recent poll by Léger Marketing indicates that 43 per cent of Quebecers will be celebrating the Saint-Jean today, compared to 24 per cent who will be celebrating Canada Day on July 1.

Among francophones, only 11 per cent consider Canada Day to be the more important celebration, compared to 73 per cent who chose the Fête nationale.

For Jack Layton, leader of a national party that also represents the vast majority of Quebecers, the delicate balancing act continues.

Éric Grenier taps The Pulse of federal and regional politics for Huffington Post Canada readers on Tuesdays and Fridays. Grenier is the author of ThreeHundredEight.com, covering Canadian politics, polls and electoral projections.