New poll shows CAQ flirting with majority, but has it peaked too soon?

New poll shows CAQ flirting with majority, but has it peaked too soon?
New poll shows CAQ flirting with majority, but has it peaked too soon?

Five months before Quebec's general election, the latest poll has the CAQ with 35% support compared with 32% for the Quebec Liberals

Montreal GazetteMontreal Gazette

Published on: May 3, 2018 | Last Updated: May 3, 2018 7:35 AM EDT

CAQ leader François Legault. Dario Ayala / Montreal Gazette

François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec is within striking distance of a majority government, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos for La Presse.

However, the pollsters note that their numbers may also indicate the CAQ has reached its summit of popularity five months before Quebec’s Oct. 1 general election and there’s nowhere for the party to go but down.

The online poll of 2,001 respondents was conducted April 29-May 2, and gives the CAQ 35 per cent support compared with 32 per cent for the Quebec Liberals, 20 per cent for the Parti Québécois and eight per cent for Québec Solidaire.

Ipsos vice-president Sébastien Dallaire, however, wondered whether the CAQ’s rise in the polls over the past six months is an echo of the bump in popularity enjoyed by the federal NDP during the 2015 general election, an advantage that evaporated over the course of the campaign and one that saw them reduced to third-party status after voting day.

The Ipsos poll credits support from francophone voters (41 per cent) with maintaining the CAQ’s advance. The governing Liberals enjoy only 20 per cent support from that sector of the electorate while the PQ’s support dropped five points to 24 per cent.

Interestingly, a desire for change in government, which also has been credited with the CAQ’s rise in opinion polls, stood at 57 per cent in the Ipsos poll, a drop of four points from the last survey in February.

That said, dissatisfaction with the Couillard government stands at 60 per cent.

There was also bad news for the PQ in the poll’s regional breakdown, which suggests that while the Liberals continue to lead on the island of Montreal (47 per cent), the CAQ (22 per cent) have bumped the PQ (16 per cent) out of second place in local support.

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