Swingometer proves accurate in all but three ridings in Québec election:The swing to the Liberals was 11 percentage points in total.

In the weeks leading up to the election I posted a piece on the swingometer and its predictive powers in calling seats that could be won from either the PQ or the CAQ in the April 7th election. If the swing were 5 % points or less then the Liberals would take six seats If the swing were close to ten percentage points there were an additional slew of seats that the Liberals would win. Examining the results shows that  of the fifteen seats that I identified as being vulnerable to being captured by the Liberals ,12 of them, that is all but three of them in fact did fall to the Liberals.

These were Abitibi -East, Charlesbourg, Montmorency, Portneuf,Rouyn -Noranda-Temiscamingue, Saint François, Ungava, Vanier-Les Rivières ,Crémazie, Laval des Rapides ,Saint Rose, La Prairie. Six of these were Liberal gains from the PQ. The other six were won from the CAQ. In the case of the other three one of them, Taschereau was extremely close with the Liberals finishing only 451 votes behind the winning PQ. In another, Nicholet-Bécancour the gap was 3132 votes with the CAQ winning over the Liberals.


 In addition to these seats the Liberals won an additional seven seats from the PQ in ridings where the gap was larger than 10 % points in the 2012 election. QS won one additional seat previously held by the PQ, Sainte Marie-St. Jacques beating the Liberal candidate by 91 votes .The CAQ won 8 seats from the PQ . The PQ captured St. Jerome for Pierre Karl Péladeau.It was held by the CAQ in the 2012 election.


So the swing in favour of the Liberals boosted them from 30.2 %in 2012 to 41.5% a total shift of 11.3 % points. The swingometer is hence still a useful rough tool for guaging what is likely to happen in an election where there are relatively accurate polls available providing the reasonable estimates of the total swing. In Québec this is complicated by the large number of three way races and the presence of another fourth party that is a factor in some ridings.

One other aspect of the election is the fact that some members in the very safe Liberal fortress of west end Montreal as usual  won by huge majorities. David Birnbaum can stand tall in the National Assembly because he received the votes of over 26,800 Montrealers in Darcy McGee His closest opponent was the CAQ candidate with 716 votes. Carlos Leitao in Robert Baldwin had over 36,700 votes . His closest opponent was the CAQ candidate with 2164 votes. Similarly Martin Coiteaux in Nelligan had 36,494 votes . His closest opponent was the CAQ candidate with 4300 votes.Jacques Chagnon in Westmount Saint Louis had 20,297 votes . His closest opponent the PQ candidate had 1594 votes.Geoff Kelly in Jacques Cartier received 30,823 votes the next closest candidate from the CAQ received 2128 votes. But these sort of lopsided victories can also result in these safe Liberal seats and their electors to be taken for granted and their needs both linguistically and socio-economically being neglected. Lets hope that this bad practice from previous Liberal governments is not repeated.


Finally the first past the post electoral system with the winner take all approach is clearly unfair to the smaller parties who are underrepresented in the assembly. This is often discouraging to younger idealistic voters who are keen to participate but feel the playing field isn’t level. A system of mixed proportional representation where some of the seats could be allocated on proportional terms as exists in Germany is clearly more democratic and would be a welcome reform in Québec and Canadian politics. But I will leave serious consideration and analysis of that for another day.



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Quebec election Couillard and Liberals win a majority government in Québec election.: 70 seats; PQ 30; CAQ 22; QS 3.

The polls in the final days were more or less correct. The Liberals won 41% of the vote and captured 70 seats. The PQ captured  25 %of the vote and 30 seats. The CAQ 23 % of the vote and 22 seats and Québec Solidaire almost 7 % and 3 seats.the vote split worked very strongly in favour of the Liberals and the CAQ and hurt the PQ the most. Clearly the PQ vote which was shrinking in late polls continued to do so on election day and as a consequence they lost 24 seats from their 54 seat total from 2012. The Liberals on the other hand gained 20 seats over their 2012 result. The CAQ managed to gain 3 additional seats and depending on the final count in  several remaining polls Québec Solidaire will increase its total from 2 to 3 seats. The turn out was down from the 74 % turnout in 2012. 68.7 % of eligible voters voted. This definitely hurt the PQ.

This is a decisive victory for the Liberals and an equally decisive defeat for the PQ. Their share of the vote is one of the lowest if not the lowest share in the history of their party. In the speeches that followed the results the leader of the CAQ,  François Legault was statesmanlike, committed himself to staying as leader for the next four years and openly  courted anglophones to join his party to form a viable alternative to the PQ and the Liberals. The CAQ will be a formidable force on the opposition benches. Françoise David the leader of Québec Solidaire jockeyed for position as the real leader of the sovereigntist movement and leading social democrat and environmentalist. She was almost too combative for an election night. The PQ shell shocked openly announced their leadership campaign by having three of the likely candidates, Pierre Karl Peladeau, Bernard Drainville and Jean François Lisée speak in passionate praise of Pauline Marois and the ideals of their sovereignty dream without it must be said a single reflection on why they might have lost, although Lisée admitted that it was a democratic loss and therefore they needed to absorb it and understand why.

Pauline Marois, for her part because she had also narrowly lost her own seat in Charlevoix-Cote de Beaupré to a young Liberal woman Caroline Simard, announced her resignation as party leader but also spoke strongly in favour of PQ principles and the preservation of French in North America.

Finally Phillipe Couillard had his chance. He was statesman like and gracious in victory, congratulated his opponents ,stressed the need for reconciliation and pronounced a vision of Québec open to all of its citizens without exception. It was a good high note to end the evening. Now we can turn to lowering the unemployment rate, reducing poverty, fixing the health care system and improving education. This was the crux of the Liberal campaign. They have their majority now its time to deliver the goods or as they say here livrer la marchandise !

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Another poll by Angus Reid with a sample of 1410 shows PLQ at 39%;PQ 27 %; CAQ 25 % QS 7 %; among Francophones PQ 31 %, PLQ 30 % CAQ 28 %.

Angus Reid has released what is now the most recent poll in Québec’s election on the eve of this critical election with numbers that suggest the Liberals are likely to win overall in a close race with the CAQ and a shrinking PQ in many predominately francophone ridings. The results are as follows. Overall the Liberals have 39 %; the PQ 27 %; the CAQ 25 % and QS 7 %. Among francophones the race is a very close horse race with the PQ at 31 %, the PLQ at 30 % and the CAQ at 28 %. 

In such three way races the results are unpredictable but the Liberals should be very competitive in such vote splits and win their fair share of these seats which when added to the large number of seats they will win in Western Québec and greater Montreal should deliver them at the very least a strong minority government. If the vote splits are more favourable it will be a majority.

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Two new Québec polls :Léger PLQ 38.1%, PQ 29.0%, CAQ23.4 % , QS 8%;Ekos PLQ 40 %, PQ 26.3%;CAQ 21% and QS 9.6 %

Another 2 polls have  come out  .One is by Ekos done for La Presse showing the PLQ at 40 %, the PQ at 26.3 %, the CAQ at 21 % and QS at 9.6 %. The Léger was done for Le journal de Montréal which is owned and published by Pierre Karl Peladeau. Its results will not likely please him. The poll,  another internet  internet poll of over 1000 participants has the Liberals or PLQ at 38.1 % , the PQ at 29.0 %, the CAQ at 23.4 % and QS at 8 %.Option national and the Parti vert show up at 0.5 % each.Translating this into seats, no easy task in a 4 party race,  it most likely would result in a narrow Liberal victory of 65 Liberals, 47 PQ, 3 for QS and 10 for the CAQ.


The EKOS poll done for La Presse shows even further potential erosion in the PQ vote benefitting the Liberals. The PLQ is at 40 %, the PQ at 26.3, the CAQ at 21 % and Québec solidaire 8 %. The EKOS poll if accurate would result in a bigger Liberal victory, possibly more than 70 seats for them with the PQ dropping to 40 or fewer seats, losing seats both to the Liberals and the CAQ.


There is a still fairly large undecided vote so if the turnout is close to 80 % some of the undecided vote will vote and possibly shift the election in one direction or the other that differs somewhat from the average of the latest polls. Normally the electorate has decided on the weekend before an election. But recent elections elsewhere show that the unpredictable is always a factor We shall see on Monday night.




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Liberals ahead in latest polls in Quebec election

There have been three new polls in the Quebec election which suggest that Liberals are definitely ahead in voter intentions. The first of these polls was conducted among Francophone voters only. It shows the PQ with 36 % of the prospective vote; the Liberals with 29 %; the CAQ with 24 % and Québec solidaire with 14 %. all among francophones who constitute 78 % of all voter.

But we can presume that the situation is radically different among the anglophone voters who are 7.7 % of all voters and also rather different among multicultural allophone voters who constitute 12.7 % of all voters. Once we take these votes into account by making the following assumptions : among anglophones the Liberals will capture at least 80 to 90 % of the vote. Among allophones we assume that the Liberals will capture 70 % of the vote. The PQ will take 10 % or less of the allophone vote, the CAQ 20 %.

Recalculating the overall percentages adds just 2 % points to the PQ vote so their final vote will be if the poll holds on election day about 30 %. The Liberals on the other hand would end up with 24 % +7 % points from the anglophones equals 31 % + 8.4 % points from allophones for a total of 39.4 %. The CAQ would receive 19.2 +2.4 %plus whatever small percentage of anglophone vote for the CAQ So their total would about 21.6 %

Reinforcing this data are two new polls just released in the past two days. A CTV internet poll done by Ipsos Reid with 1012 participants has the PLQ- the Quebec Liberal party -at 37 %, the PQ at 28 %, the CAQ 19 % and Quebec solidaire at 13 %. 30 % are still undecided.

A Forum poll with a proper random sample of 854 people and a margin of error of 3 % 19 times out of 20 has the Liberals or PLQ at 41 %, the PQ at 29%, the CAQ at 19 %, Québec solidaire at 10.1 %.

An earlier Léger internet poll with 3692 participants had the PLQ at 40 %, the PQ at 33 % the CAQ at 15 % and Québec solidaire at 9 % the Greens at 1 and Option Nationale at 1 %.

If these sorts of percentages hold on election day the odds are strongly in favour of either a small Liberal majority government or perhaps a several seat less Liberal minority government. But even a PQ minority government , though very unlikely is a possible outcome depending on the vote split.

As all politicians know and most Québecers the only true poll that counts is the one on election day.

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Léger internet poll of 3692 participants in Quebec: Liberals ahead 40% to PQ 33%, CAQ 15, QS 9%

Another  internet election  poll in Québec this one by Léger was  published this morning . It surveyed 3692 people from an internet panel weighted by region, gender, linguistic status and age to resemble the Québec electorate. The results are similar to other recent polls showing the Liberals at 40 %, the PQ at 33%, the CAQ at 15 % and Québec Solidaire at 9 %. If this were the result on election day this would likely give the Liberals somewhere between 61 and 65 seats, the PQ about 54 seats, QS 2  and the remainder from 8 to as few as 4 seats to the CAQ.

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The electoral swingometer returns to Quebec

The late Robert Mackenzie a Canadian political scientist who made his career in London introduced a cute technique for measuring the liklihood of a given constituency falling into a different party’s hands on election day. So if the swing from the Tories to Labour was 5 percentage points, as a rule of thumb you grouped all those constituencies where the margin of victory in the last election was 5% points or less of the Tories over Labour as ones highly likely to switch to the Labour party on election night. Using the same principle and using the possibility that the swing in the average of the polls shows a Liberal gain of almost ten percentage points from the CAQ most of it going to the Liberals and the PQ gaining about 3 % points from last time there are a total  of at least fifteen ridings where the Liberals may well pick up additional seats over last time. These are seats mostly in the Quebec city area but also a few in the Montreal area, in Laval and on both the south and north shore and in the Gatineau and north. They are as follows:

With a five percent swing to the Liberals from the CAQ and no serious swing to the PQ from the CAQ ,that is, no more than 2-3 % points there are 8 ridings that the Liberal party could pick up. If the swing is 10 % there are 7 or 8 more that will be in play.

The 5 % swing ridings are Montmorency in Quebec city region where the CAQ won it with 38.2 % of the vote compared to Liberals 33.24 % ,the PQ 20.5 % the QS 3.4 %.

Charlebourg CAQ 36.9 %, PLQ, 34.1 %, PQ 21.4 %, QS 3.9 %.

Vanier La Rivière  CAQ 37.9 %, PLQ 35 %, PQ 21.4%, QS 3.9 %

in Gatineau north western Quebec  Abitibi east  PQ 38.4% PLQ 34.85,  CAQ 18.5 % QS 4.8 %

St. Francois, south shore P Q 36.4%, PLQ 36.14%, CAQ 18.1%, QS  5%.

Port Neuf CAQ 40.7 %, PLQ 33.5 %, PQ  18.0% QS 3.01 %

Montreal south shore La Prairie CAQ 32.7, PQ 32.4,PLQ 27.4 QS 3.5

Laval des Rapides PQ 37.85, PLQ  32.8 CAQ 21.7%, QS  4.13%

Note: the percentages are party results in these ridings in the 2012 election. PLQ Liberal party of Québec; PQ Parti Québecois; CAQ Coalition Avenir Québec;QS Québec Solidaire.)

If the swing is closer to 10 % then an additional 6-7 ridings come into play these are Cremazie in Montreal, Ste. Rose in Laval, Groulx, north of Laval, Taschereau in Quebec city area, Arthabaska south shore of St. Lawrence east of

Trois Rivières, Ungava northern Québec , Rouyn Noranda north west Québec and Nicolet Becancour between Montréal and Québec city on south shore.Of these 8, Ungava and Rouyn Noranda because of their history of strong support for the PQ seem less likely to be captured by the Liberals. Eight of these ridings would be losses from the PQ bloc of seats seven would come from the CAQ.

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