A close battle looms between the PQ and Liberal candidates in Chicoutimi. Two weeks before the elections, Mireille Jean Parti Québécois holds a slight lead (39%) over its rival Francyne T. Gobeil who harvest 33% support. The caquiste Helene Girard arrives farther behind with 17% of the vote, according to a survey conducted in recent days by the Segma search firm for the newspaper The Daily Energy and Red FM.
But if the Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) had not been tainted by the arrest of Nathalie Normandeau, Mireille and Jean T. Francyne Gobeil be nose to nose, says Raynald Harvey, president of the polling firm.
“Those who say that Normandeau case had no impact, they are wrong. It was clearly seen in the early days of the survey. It was a bad start for Francyne T. Gobeil in the polls. It was far from the PQ. The effect is mitigated. And in the last days of the survey, it was virtually neck and neck between the PQ and Liberal candidates. What makes me say that even if there is a gap of six points, which is a deviation beyond the margin of error, it will be a fight that looks tight, “says the president of Segma Search .
The other political parties will compete imagination to be more noticeable in this election. Pierre Dostie of Québec Solidaire, Alex Tyrrell Green Party and Catherine Tremblay-Bouchard national harvest Option 7%, 3% and 1% of the vote.
But the dice are far from being discarded. Because these results are obtained after distribution 26% undecided, a relatively high percentage even for a country beginning.
The most popular candidate as chief
The majority of voters in Chicoutimi prefer PQ Jean Mirelle, but they do not have the same feeling towards Pierre Karl Péladeau. To the question “Among the leaders of the three opposition parties, who did the best job now?”, 49% of respondents chose the leader of the CAQ, François Legault, far ahead of the PQ leader that gets 28%. The latter is itself heated by Françoise David, who harvest 24%.
“These results reflect the problems that Mr. Péladeau has dragged his appointment as chief. Many observers feel that the learning curve is a little slow. Even among people who will vote for the Parti Quebecois, most do not designate it as the best leader of the opposition. It is a way to analyze the popularity of the leader to his followers, “says Raynald Harvey.
In fact, less than half of the supporters of Mireille Jean (47%) believe that Mr. Péladeau is the one who makes the best job of opposition in the National Assembly.
Cold rumors between Stéphane Bédard and the head may have contributed to this perception. Pierre Karl Péladeau, remember, was offered the post of parliamentary leader Bernard Drainville rather than Chicoutimi veteran who had occupied those functions.
“It can be an explanation track. It can be played on the popularity of the leader in Chicoutimi. But the main point is really his performance as leader of the opposition. It is not quite to the point, “said Mr. Harvey.
The popularity of François Legault is no stranger to the arrest of the former Liberal minister Nathalie Normandeau and the Parti Quebecois close.
“He is the one who played the strongest on the arrest of Ms. Normandeau. Pierre Karl Péladeau an awkward position. There are still two PQ members who were arrested. It is therefore in a glass house. He can not get to throw rocks while Legault took the opportunity and it is beneficial for him “says pollster.
The performance of François Legault however does not translate into voting intentions for the riding of Chicoutimi.
“The CAQ in the region, for whatever reason, it never really lifted. I think the area is still generally PQ. The Liberals, it’s been a few times for it to pass close in Chicoutimi. There, there is the temptation of power. This is a partial, it can become an easy choice for voters. The presence of the Prime Minister in the region is also an asset to Ms. Gobeil. ”
With a rate of less vote in a general election, the power of political machines will make the difference in this part, believes Raynald Harvey.
“If the results remain as tight as in the last days, the main challenge, in my opinion, will be the ability to mobilize people to vote. In an election, the turnout is lower, less than 40%. There is less interest on the part of the population, because the vote is not to choose the government. So if a team manages to get 500 voters more than the other party, it can make a difference. In the general election, with 70%, the machine has less weight. In part, it was more. ”
The survey was conducted from March 18 to 23, 2016 by telephone interviews with 400 respondents. The sample was randomly generated from all potentially active numbers in the district and respondents were contacted on their home phone or mobile phone.
The overall data were weighted based on the 2011 census by sex and age of the respondents.
The margin of sampling error is approaching 5%.