"Liberals won't form the next government, of course," Jean-Paul Boily said Tuesday. "Maybe a minority. But, after the Charbonneau Commission, the whole party will be (stained) by this, and they will lose credibility."
Boily has been an active campaigner, fundraiser and cheerleader for the Quebec Liberals for 30 years, and in an open letter in the newspaper le Soleil, he insists that he is still a Liberal.
But he said he doesn't believe his own party can win this time, so he's doing everything he can to prevent a PQ government from being elected.
"Don't vote Liberal, because you're only going to lose your vote," Boily counsels. "You're better to vote for a party that is close to the Liberals, that is not sovereigntist, so elect the CAQ. That's the point."
CAQ candidate Gérard Deltell said the support is welcome.
"I think the Liberals are in a state of panic, and the alarm bells have just sounded," he said.
But Jean Charest has dismissed Boily's remarks, as has longtime Liberal MNA and cabinet minister Geoff Kelley, the candidate in Jacques-Cartier.
"One man has an opinion," said Kelley. "He has no role that he's playing in the 2012 campaign. In any election, people are free to choose and make their own decisions."
Liberals may minimize Boily's open letter as a small bump in the road on the campaign trail, but there are other signs they are nervous.
On Wednesday, Jean Charest is scheduled to return to to his own riding of Sherbrooke for the fourth time in this campaign — a clear sign that he might be facing a shaky hold on his own seat.