Parti Québécois majority is within reach, poll suggests
PQ support attributed to polarized debate surrounding secular 'values' charter
A poll commissioned by the French-language newspaper, le Journal de Montréal, suggests the Parti Québécois would be within reach of a majority if an election were held today.
The poll done by Léger Marketing found that 36 per cent of respondents would vote for the PQ.
The PQ currently holds power as a minority government, with 54 seats to the Liberals' 50 seats. The Coalition Avenir Québec holds 18 seats, while Québec Solidaire holds two seats and there is one independent MNA.
The poll results suggest the Liberals would continue to sit as the official opposition, with 33 per cent of respondents saying they would vote for the party.
Léger Marketing's executive vice-president, Christian Bourque, said the PQ is gaining ground in the regions outside of Montreal and Quebec City, mainly because of the secular charter debate.
"If we look where the charter is mostly popular, it's with francophone voters in those same regions," Bourque said.
He said the proposed charter, Bill 60, has polarized voters, compelling those who are in favour of the legislation to throw their support behind the only party that's promoting it.
At the same time, he said the Quebec Liberal party has lost ground in the past six weeks, which Bourque attributes to Liberal leader Philippe Couillard's silence on the charter issue.
Some have speculated the PQ is gearing up for an election, but Premier Pauline Marois continues to deny any plans for a spring election.
Marois, who is in London to promote investment opportunities, said there's still a lot of work to do before Quebecers return to the polls.
"We are focusing on advancing Quebec, on creating jobs. That's my focus for now," Marois said.
Survey results are based on a survey commissioned by le Journal de Montréal and carried out by Léger Marketing. The survey was conducted online, between Jan. 17 and Jan. 18.
1,207 people from all regions of the province responded. The margin of error is +/- 2.8 per cent.
Respondents were selected randomly, with the help of the internet panel Legerweb.