01/31/2013 08:09 EST | Updated 04/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Anglos polled ambivalent about Quebec Liberal leader

Most English-speaking Quebecers appear to be ambivalent about who will become the next leader of the provincial Liberal Party, according to a poll commissioned by CBC Quebec.

The survey conducted by Ekos research asked 1,001 Anglo-Quebecers which candidate would best represent their community.

The survey suggests Philippe Couillard is the favourite leadership candidate among English-speakers, with 21 per cent of those surveyed ranking him as their preferred candidate in terms of his ability to represent anglophones. Raymond Bachand was the first choice of 9 per cent, while 4 per cent ranked Pierre Moreau as their top choice.

But, the study suggested 57 per cent of English-speakers have no preference when it comes to who would best represent the anglophone community.

Thierry Giasson, a professor who teaches political communications at Laval University, said he is not surprised by the findings.

He said the three Liberal candidates have made few firm commitments to anglophones, because the English-speaking community's support for the Liberal Party is almost guaranteed.

"They're not going to go to the Parti Québécois, and many of them are wary, still , of this other alternative [Coalition Avenir Québec]. So their natural 'house' is the Liberal Party," he said.

The candidates have however made some efforts to win the support of the anglophone community.

Couillard said he is hoping the Anglophone population remembers his work as health minister.

"I was quite involved with the community, pushing forward the project of the [McGill University Health Centre], supporting the Jewish General [Hospital]," he said.

Raymond Bachand has attempted to court Anglophone support by pledging to appoint a minister responsible for the anglophone community.

"Anglophones are going to be an important part of my government," he said.

Moreau has also highlighted the importance of dealing the province's language divides.

"I feel strongly that we have to build bridges with the English community," he said.

The survey results are based on a telephone survey taken between Jan. 15 and 23. The survey polled a random sample of 1001 anglophone Quebecers (anglophone as defined by Statistics Canada Census data).

The results are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.