The first Quebec poll of 2016 has been released, and CROP was the polling firm in the field. It shows the solidifying of two tiers of parties. The Liberals and Parti Quebecois make the first tier with 35% and 27% each, while the Coalition Avenir Quebec and Quebec Solidaire make up the second tier with 19% and 16% each.
The results represent a status quo for the major parties, but major movement in the second tier – huge losses for the CAQ, but huge gains for Quebec Solidaire.
Here is the seat projection using my model:
Montreal: 39% Liberal (34 seats), 25% Parti Quebecois (8 seats), 16% Quebec Solidaire (4 seats), 14% Coalition Avenir Quebec (3 seats)
Quebec City: 32% Coalition Avenir Quebec (4 seats), 30% Liberal (5 seats), 25% Parti Quebecois (2 seats), 12% Quebec Solidaire (0 seats)
Regions of Quebec: 31% Liberal (30 seats), 31% Parti Quebecois (20 seats), 21% Coalition Avenir Quebec (9 seats), 16% Quebec Solidaire (6 seats)
Total: 35% Liberal (69 seats), 27% Parti Quebecois (30 seats), 19% Coalition Avenir Quebec (16 seats), 16% Quebec Solidaire (10 seats)
The seat standings reflect the changes (or lack thereof) in the popular vote since the 2014 election. The Liberals would only lose one seat, and the Parti Quebecois would gain five, but it’s still a clear victory with a majority governmnt for the Liberals. The CAQ would lose 40% of its caucus in its backslide, and Quebec Solidaire would not only make small gains in Montreal, it would make significant inroads into the Regions.
From the standpoint of strategy, the Liberals would have to consolidate their strength in Montreal and the Regions, and wrest Quebec City out of the hands of the CAQ in order to ensure a majority. The PQ has to either get competitive in Montreal again or open up a real landslide in the Regions before it can be competitive in a provincial election. The CAQ has to consolidate its gains in Quebec City, and reassert itself in Montreal and the Regions, where it has lost significant ground. Quebec Solidaire has to try to eat into PQ support in every part of Quebec to make significant gains, though the party appears to be on track to make gains at this very moment anyway.