Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe says his party could still confine the Conservatives to a minority government, even as polls suggest otherwise.


Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe and his wife Yolande Brunelle take a look around an orchard during a campaign stop in Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, Que., on Sunday. ((Graham Hugues/Canadian Press))

"I don't want to argue about numbers, but there are experts who are predicting the number of seats and we are still in a minority situation," he told a new conference Sunday in Mirabel, Que., north of Montreal.

However, recent polls based on seats suggest the Tories could form a majority on Oct. 14.

Polls suggest a cross-country collapse of support for the Liberals, which could mean the Conservatives won't have to rely on so many Quebec votes to win.

The Bloc could win more seats than any party in the province and still fall short of preventing a Conservative majority.

It may be one of the reasons why Duceppe accepted an invitation to speak at the Economic Club of Toronto on Wednesday.

Bloc still best for Quebec: Duceppe

The Bloc leader said he won't try to influence votes in the rest of Canada, but he's not shy to show that he prefers one party over another.

"It's up to Canadians to judge their own interests, their own values," he said.

"Do they see them in [Prime Minister] Stephen Harper? If not they need to do what they can to defeat the Conservative candidates."

Duceppe believes he's been able to turn Quebecers against Harper.

He frequently compares the Tory leader to American President George W. Bush and has slammed the Conservative platform on everything from culture to youth crime and the environment.

"Our message is reaching Quebecers and we know that the Bloc is the only party capable of stopping Stephen Harper," he said.

"On each of these issues, people realize it's the Bloc that truly reflects the realities in Quebec."

He said the gap between Conservative values and Quebec grows each day.

But Duceppe has a habit of overconfidence.

During the last federal election campaign, he told journalists the Bloc would receive a majority of the votes in Quebec.

Instead, the sovereigntist party finished with about 42 per cent.  

"The games are not over," Duceppe said.