09/05/2012 11:31 EDT | Updated 11/05/2012 05:12 EST

The Nanos Number: The power of 1 for the PQ

Nik Nanos digs beneath the numbers with CBC News Network's Power & Politics host Evan Solomon to get at the political, economic and social forces that shape our lives.

This week: The Quebec Election: Were there more losers than winners?

The Parti Québécois beat out the Liberals in the Quebec Election on Tuesday, taking 54 seats to the Liberals' 50.

But if you look at the popular support, it's margin of victory was even closer — just 1 percentage point, with 32 per cent of the vote compared to 31 per cent for the Liberals.

In fact, the PQ won less of the popular vote Tuesday than it did even in the last election in 2008, when it polled 35 per cent but won only 51 seats. The Liberals won 42 per cent of the vote in 2008 and 66 seats.

Before election day, pollsters were predicting a big win for the Parti Québécois and more support for the new party, the Coalition Avenir Quebec.

So what happened there?

Nanos says it's a technical correction that we've seen in federal elections as well.

"A party or a leader veers into a big lead and then people go, 'Oh hold on a second, I'm not sure we're ready for a majority.'"

"I think in this particular case, with Quebec voters, they saw all the talk and the polls that showed that the PQ were ahead, potentially into majority territory, and there was a bit of a technical correction with some strategic voting that benefited the [Liberals]," Nanos says.

Ultimately, Nanos argues, there were three losers in this election: the PQ, the Liberals and the CAQ.

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).