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Gilles Duceppe Could Lead Parti Québécois To Majority Government in Quebec, Poll Suggests

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GILLES DUCEPPE
Though Quebecers forced Gilles Duceppe out of Ottawa on May 2, they seem to like the idea of installing him in Quebec City instead. | AFP/Getty Images

Though Quebecers forced Gilles Duceppe out of Ottawa on May 2, they seem to like the idea of installing him in Quebec City instead.

And that means another blow for Pauline Marois' leadership of the Parti Québécois.

The latest poll from Léger Marketing indicates the PQ's troubles are continuing, and that if an election were held today the party would be shunted off to third place.

The winner would be François Legault's Coalition pour l'avenir du Québec (CAQ), which would form a strong majority government and face off against Jean Charest's Liberals, demoted to the role of Official Opposition.

Legault is expected to launch his party on November 14. It is already leading in the polls despite its non-existence, and according to this latest set of numbers the CAQ would take 35 per cent of the vote, well ahead of the Liberals' 22 per cent and the Parti Québécois' 20 per cent.

A majority of Quebecers think Pauline Marois should step down -- including a good deal of PQ supporters.

Waiting in the wings is Gilles Duceppe, former leader of the Bloc Québécois. Though Duceppe and Marois appeared together at a partisan event over the weekend, there is little doubt that Duceppe covets the job he briefly ran for in 2007.

But Marois is pledging to hold on, and Duceppe may not be willing to force her out.

Based on the latest poll results, however, the party might do that for him. With Duceppe as leader of the Parti Québécois, the sovereigntist party would take 37 per cent of the vote, more than it did in 2008's provincial election.

More importantly, Legault's CAQ would be pushed down to only 25 per cent support, with Charest's Liberals at 21 per cent.

This would be more than enough of a gap for Gilles Duceppe to win a majority of seats in Quebec's National Assembly. Legault and the Liberals would likely battle it out for the runner-up spot.

That Duceppe could lead the PQ to victory, suggests Legault's CAQ may be filling a "none of the above" role. Duceppe has always been a popular politician in Quebec, despite the drubbing in the last federal election. But after being the leader of the Bloc for 14 years, Duceppe is hardly a breath of fresh air.

The breakthrough of the New Democrats in the province and the popularity of Legault's new party seemed to indicate a thirst for something different in Quebec.

But with the province's voters seemingly ready to turn to Duceppe, it appears that Quebecers are not so much searching for something new, as for someone who isn't Jean Charest or Pauline Marois.

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

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