Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Quebec Leaders Debate: PQ Minority on the Horizon?

After watching the Quebec Leaders debate, I'd be prepared to predict a bump in the polls for the PQ at the expense of the ADQ. Boisclair exceeded expectations, Dumont's bubble was burst, and Charest fell flat. The PQ leader looked and talked like a Premier for the first time in a long time. He is certain to bring disaffected sovereignists back into the PQ camp, maybe even at the expense of Quebec Solidaire. The new left wing sovereignist party, which was excluded from the debate, currently enjoys the support of roughly 5% of the electorate - the same number of voters the PQ needs to eclipse the Liberals and move into solid minority territory.

A majority government is likely out of the question for any of the parties at this point. However, the momentum will likely shift to the PQ. If the party can hit 35% in the polls, and the ADQ can avoid a melt down, Boisclair is almost certain to become Quebec's next Premier in a minority government, and Quebecers are almost certain to avoid another referendum during his first term of office. That way, Quebecers, who don't like the Liberals, but don't want another referendum, can have their cake and eat it too.

For more analysis on the debate, click here and here.