Quebec has always been one of the hottest political arenas in Canada. Never was this more obvious than with the 2011 election result, when the "orange wave" of NDP support washed away most of the Bloc Québécois caucus and installed a record number of rookie MPs across the province.
But one year later, had things calmed down in Quebec? Hardly. With students (and student sympathizers) marching on the streets, economic uncertainties unsettling household budgets and a provincial election looming, there's plenty of political heat steaming up the province this summer.
New NDP leader Tom Mulcair's young caucus has had time to begin to establish itself, and entrench its top standing. But will it hold?
Quebec is the most courted political battleground in Canada: the NDP want to challenge for government next time around, the Tories need to maintain at least some support to keep their majority, the Liberals stubbornly hope for a return to their Quebec glory days and the Bloc needs a resurgence to return the sovereigntist party from the political wilderness.
The Quebec regional breakdown in a national Nanos survey set for release Thursday makes for an interesting comparison with the results from the last federal election:
Federal Party Support in Quebec as of July 12, 2012
Source: Nanos random telephone survey of 1,200 Canadians, including 234 decided voters in Quebec. Margin of error for Quebec is ±6.5 percent 19 times out of 20.
The margin of error for this regional breakout is large (6.5), but the Liberal increase exceeds even that. And two other things stand out: the NDP lead is holding, by a comfortable margin and the Conservative support in Quebec appears static, stuck in the teens.
"People always ask 'when is the honeymoon going to be over for Thomas Mulcair?' It's pretty clear from the national and the provincial numbers that he's still doing very well in the province of Quebec," pollster Nik Nanos told guest host Hannah Thibedeau on CBC News Network's Power and Politics.
"As we get more distance from the election of Thomas Mulcair... some of the controversies that the Conservatives have had to deal with and [Mulcair's] Dutch disease strategy [speaking out on resource development issues]... I think they were high points in terms of the New Democrats. Maybe we're seeing a little bit of softening." Nanos suggested.
"Thomas Mulcair, the Quebec guy, probably wants to continue to deliver on Quebec. So he's probably going to keep an eye on the red team," he said.
So what's behind that Liberal increase?
"In the province of Quebec one of the things that has been talked about over the last 30-60 days is the Liberal leadership. Perhaps that could be one of the factors," Nanos says.
"But one point a trend does not make," he added. "Voters in the province of Quebec are volatile."
Recognized as one of Canada's top research experts, Nik Nanos provides numbers-driven counsel to senior executives and major organizations. He leads the analyst team at Nanos, is a Fellow of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association and a Research Associate Professor with SUNY (Buffalo).
Surprising Justin Trudeau Facts
With talk of Trudeau making a bid for the Liberal leadership reaching a fever pitch (again), HuffPost takes a look at some surprising facts about Canada's perpetual PM-in-waiting. (CP)
11. Politics On Mother's Side Too
Trudeau's maternal grandfather <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Sinclair_(politician)" target="_hplink">James Sinclair</a> was a Liberal MP and cabinet minister in Louis St.-Laurent's government in the 1950s. (House of Commons) <em><strong>CORRECTION</strong>: An earlier version of this slide incorrectly said Sinclair was a Progressive Conservative MP.</em>
10. Born In Office
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Trudeau" target="_hplink">Trudeau was only the second child ever to be born while a parent was prime minister</a>. The first was John A. Macdonald's youngest daughter Margaret Mary Macdonald. Trudeau's younger brothers, Alexandre (Sacha) and Michel were the third and fourth. (CP)
9. Educated Enough?
Trudeau has a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill and a Bachelor of Education from UBC. He also studied engineering at the Université de Montréal and environmental geography at McGill, but never finished degrees in those fields.
8. Enemies To Friends
While fathers Brian Mulroney and Pierre Trudeau were rivals, sons Justin and Ben are friends. Mulroney attended Trudeau's wedding to Sophie Grégoire. Grégoire has worked as Quebec correspondent for CTV's eTalk, which is hosted by Mulroney. (CP)
7. Let Them Eat Anything But Cake
Trudeau didn't have cake at his wedding, with <a href="http://www.macleans.ca/canada/national/article.jsp?content=20050606_106678_106678" target="_hplink">Sophie arguing that people never eat it anyway</a>. (Shutterstock)
6. Born On Christmas
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Trudeau" target="_hplink">Trudeau entered the world on December 25, 1971</a>.
5. Two Tattoos In One
Trudeau has a large tattoo on his left shoulder. <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/justinpjtrudeau/statuses/179973685136998400" target="_hplink">The planet Earth inside a Haida raven</a>. Trudeau got the globe tattoo when he was 23 and the raven when he turned 40. (Media Ball)
4. Keeping It In The Family
Trudeau and his wife Sophie have two children, Xavier James (4) and Ella-Grace Margaret (3). Both are partially named after family.<a href="http://www.chatelaine.com/en/article/4970--the-littlest-trudeau" target="_hplink"> Xavier James is named after Trudeau's maternal grandfather James Sinclair</a> (the politician) and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Gr%C3%A9goire" target="_hplink">Ella-Grace Margaret is named after Trudeau's mother Margaret and Grace Elliot, Trudeau's paternal grandmother</a>. Xavier also happens to share a birthday with Pierre Elliott Trudeau. (CP)
3. Politician And Actor
<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0846011/" target="_hplink">Trudeau played Talbot Mercer Papineau</a> in the 2007 CBC miniseries "The Great War."
2. .. And Video Game Star
<a href="http://arts.nationalpost.com/2011/09/06/in-deus-ex-justin-trudeau-is-the-pm-and-canada-has-a-problem-with-illegal-immigrants-from-the-u-s/" target="_hplink">Trudeau is prime minister in the dystopian future portrayed in the video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution</a>. (CP)
1. Childhood Sweathearts
Sophie used to visit the Trudeau family home when she was a child. She was a classmate and friend of Trudeau's youngest brother Michel, who died tragically in a B.C. avalanche in 1998. Justin and Sophie made contact again at a fundraiser in 2003 and soon after began dating. <a href="http://www.macleans.ca/canada/national/article.jsp?content=20050606_106678_106678" target="_hplink">Trudeau was so smitten</a> that he declared they would spend the rest of their lives together on the very first date. (CP)