Robert Bourassa is Best Recent Premier for Quebecers

One-in-four residents of the province think Jean Charest has been the worst recent head of government. 

Vancouver, BC [November 14, 2018] – Long-serving Premier Bourassa is still regarded fondly in Quebec, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 24% of Quebecers believe Bourassa has been the best head of government the province has had since December 1985.

Lucien Bouchard is second on the list with 16%, followed by Jacques Parizeau with 14% and Jean Charest with 6%.

The ranking is lower for Philippe Couillard (4%), Bernard Landry (also 4%), Pauline Marois (3%) and Daniel Johnson Jr. (2%).

“There is no language gap in the perceptions of Quebecers when it comes to Robert Bourassa,” says says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Equal proportions of English and French speakers feel he has been the best recent premier.”

Bourassa is particularly popular among Quebecers aged 55 and over (31%) and those who voted for the Liberal Party of Quebec in this year’s provincial election (35%).

Conversely, those who cast a ballot for the Parti Québécois (PQ) this year believe Parizeau was the superior premier (26%, followed by Bouchard with 21%).

When asked who has been the worst recent premier of Quebec, Charest is first with 25%, followed by Marois with 20%, Couillard with 18% and Parizeau with 6%.

Men are more likely to select Charest as the worst recent head og government (30%, with Marois at 22%). Among women, Marois is in third place with 18%, behind Charest at 21% and Couillard at 20%.

There is a substantial difference when it comes to language on this question. Charest is regarded more negatively by French speakers (31%) and Marois by English speakers (35%)

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 20 to October 22, 2018,among 602 Quebec adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Quebec. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.9 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

Photo Credit: Assembléetest

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Quebec: Who Won and Why

The 42nd General Election in Quebec has ended with a new governing party, a difficult road ahead for the Liberals, and renewed questions about the future of the sovereignty issue.

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) will form a majority government after capturing 37 per cent of the vote in the province. Francois Legault will take over as premier from Liberal leader Philippe Couillard, whose party saw its share of the vote fall from 42 per cent in 2014 to 25 per cent this year.

The Parti Québécois (PQ) was unable to garner the backing of one-in-five voters (17 per cent) and experienced its worst result in history. Québec solidaire increased its seat count in the National Assembly from three to 10 members.

This election was a contest of generations. In the final Research Co. voting intention survey, the incumbent Liberals were the top choice for voters aged 55 and over (36%). Those aged 35-to-54 were more likely to cast a ballot for the CAQ (also 36%). The youngest voters—aged 18-to-34—were enthralled by Québec solidaire (33%).

In spite of their political and ideological differences, all generations agreed that it was time for something new. The sentiment for change among voters in Quebec was 68 per cent in the final poll and was remarkably similar among age groups (69% for Millennials, 66% for Generation X and 69% for Baby Boomers).

The proportion of Quebecers who were ready to see a new party in power is similar to what was observed on the eve of Manitoba’s 2015 provincial election (69%), but lower than the numbers seen in Ontario 2018 (77%) and Alberta 2015 (82%). Only British Columbia (61% in 2017) had a smaller proportion of voters advocating for a change of government.

In this century, Quebec’s “shakeup” elections featured a winning party with just a third of the vote. In 2007, the tenure of Jean Charest and the Liberals barely survived with 33 per cent of the vote. In 2012, 32 per cent of voters favoured the PQ and allowed Pauline Marois to become the first female premier in the province’s history. The 2018 election was different, as the share of the vote for the CAQ was higher than it was for the winning parties in 2007 and 2012.

The Research Co. “Exit Poll” asked Quebecers who cast a ballot in the provincial contest about their main motivations. As has been customary in previous Canadian elections, most voters across the province are moved by “the party’s ideas and policies” (43%), followed by “the party’s leader” (19%) and a “desire for change” (17%). Analyzing the motivations by party outlines some of the reasons for the success of the soon-to-be-governing party.

Among CAQ voters, 34 per cent say “desire for change” was their main motivation—a significantly higher proportion than what is reported by other opposition supporters. “Ideas and policies” is a close second (33%), followed by “the party’s leader” at 21 per cent. The CAQ was regarded as the vehicle for change, and it was successful in courting voters who previously favoured the Liberals or the PQ.

Liberal voters clearly had a good connection with outgoing premier Couillard (24% say “the party’s leader” was the main motivation for their vote). A larger proportion voted based on “ideas and policies” (39%), and one-in-five (20%) expressed a “desire for stability”.

For PQ supporters, “ideas and policies” was the main motivator (50%), followed by “the party’s leader” (17%) and “desire for change” (16%). On both of the latter indicators, the PQ ranks lower than the CAQ. Sovereignty was not a ballot issue this time around, and the PQ clearly lost votes to other contenders. The party has four years to decide where it goes, with a significantly reduced caucus and in search of a new leader.

Finally, Québec solidaire successfully attracted young voters. A whopping 67 per cent of their supporters say they cast a ballot based on “ideas and policies”, with “desire for change” (12%) and “disgust with other parties” (11%) rounding up the top three reasons. In spite of the victories, there is a dark cloud: only five per cent of Québec solidaire voters say “the party’s leader” was the main motivator for their vote.

 

Credit: Christophe Pinot

CAQ Edges Ahead as Quebec Voters Set to Cast Ballots

François Legault holds the upper hand when Quebecers are asked who would make the best premier.

Vancouver, BC [September 30, 2018] – On the eve of Quebec’s provincial election, the opposition Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) remains ahead of all other contending parties, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 33% of decided voters in Quebec (+1 since a Research Co. survey concluded on September 22) will support the CAQ candidate in their constituency.

The governing Liberal Party of Quebec is second with 30% (=), followed by the Parti Québécois with 18% (-1) and Québec solidaire with 16% (=).

Québec solidaire is the most popular party among decided voters aged 18-to-34 (33%). More than a third of decided voters aged 35-to-54 (36%) are favouring the CAQ, while those aged 55 and over prefer the Liberals (36%).

“There is a clear generational divide among voters in Quebec,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The election appears similar to the electoral processes of 2008 and 2012, where no party was able to reach the 40 per cent threshold.”

Almost two-in-five of decided voters who reside in the Montreal Metropolitan Community (39%) would support the Liberals tomorrow, while the CAQ is ahead in both the Quebec Metropolitan Community (43%) and the rest of the province (38%).

The incumbent Liberals are only holding on to 56% of the decided voters that supported them in the last provincial election, with 29% now choosing the CAQ. The Parti Québécois keeps 59% of its 2014 voters, with a third going to either the CAQ (20%) or Québec solidaire (12%).

When asked who would make the best premier of Quebec, 30% of respondents select Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault.

Premier and Quebec Liberal Party leader Philippe Couillard is second with 23%, followed by Parti Québécois and Official Opposition leader Jean-François Lisée with 12%, and Manon Massé of Québec solidaire with 11%.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from September 28 to September 30, 2018, among 625 Quebec adults, including 550 decided voters in the 2018 provincial election. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Quebec. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.9 percentage points for the entire sample and +/- 4.2 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

 

CAQ and Liberals Engaged in Tight Race in Quebec

Half of Quebecers believe health care is the most important issue facing the province.

Vancouver, BC [September 24, 2018] – The opposition Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) holds a slight edge in the lead up to Quebec’s provincial election, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 32% of decided voters in Quebec say they will cast a ballot for the CAQ candidate in their riding, while 30% would support the Liberal Party of Quebec on October 1.

The Parti Québécois is a distant third with 19%, followed by Québec solidaire with 16%. Three per cent of decided voters would support other parties.

The CAQ holds a three-point edge over the Liberals among male voters (32% to 29%), while the Liberals are slightly ahead among female voters (33% to 31%).

The approval rating for Premier and Quebec Liberal Party leader Philippe Couillard stands at 35%. The number is higher for both Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault (40%) and Parti Québécois and Official Opposition leader Jean-François Lisée (37%).

Lisée has the best momentum score f the three main party leaders (+3, with 20% of Quebecers saying their opinion of him has improved since the start of the campaign, while 17% say it has worsened). Couillard checks in at -20 and Legault at -17.

Health care is regarded as the most important issue facing the province (50%), followed by the economy and jobs (9%), the environment (also 9%), education (8%) and housing, poverty and homelessness (7%).

When asked who would make the best premier of Quebec, Couillard is first with 26% followed by Legault with 24% and Lisée with 16%.

“The race is very close heading into the final week of the Quebec campaign,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The CAQ is ahead by a small margin, but Legault has not overtaken incumbent premier Couillard as the best person to head the government.”

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from September 19 to September 22, 2018, among 601 Quebec adults, including 522 decided voters in the 2018 provincial election. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Quebec. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.0 percentage points for the entire sample and +/- 4.3 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca