Quebec Election: CAQ leads a crowded political field while three parties battle for second place

Quebec Election: CAQ leads a crowded political field while three parties battle for second place

Legault favoured on economic leadership and health care, identified as the top two election issues


Le rapport est également disponible en français.

September 28, 2022 – New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds the CAQ comfortably leading its closest competition, as three parties battle for official opposition status.

One-in-three Quebecers (34%) say they will vote CAQ on Oct. 3. One-in-five choose the Conservative Party (19%), while 16 per cent say they will vote either Québec Solidaire, or the Liberal Party. One-in-eight (12%) say they will vote for the Parti Québécois.

The CAQ’s path to victory appears to rest on two key issues where it is seen to be performing well – health care and the economy.

Incumbent Premier François Legault and the CAQ are the clear choice on the economy, chosen as best to lead by 40 per cent. On health care, the incumbents again receive nearly double the level of trust as their next closest rival. However, one-in-five Quebecers say no party can be trusted on this issue (20%).

Demographically, the CAQ holds a significant advantage among older residents, with 44 per cent of men and 46 per cent of women 55-plus intending to vote for that party. The Conservative Party generates higher support among men ages 18-54, while Québec Solidaire is the top choice for women ages 18-34.

 

About ARI

The Angus Reid Institute (ARI) was founded in October 2014 by pollster and sociologist, Dr. Angus Reid. ARI is a national, not-for-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to advance education by commissioning, conducting and disseminating to the public accessible and impartial statistical data, research and policy analysis on economics, political science, philanthropy, public administration, domestic and international affairs and other socio-economic issues of importance to Canada and its world.

INDEX

Part One: More feel Quebec is on the wrong track than right track

Part Two: Leadership and top issues

  • No leader viewed positively by a majority

  • Health care, economy, climate change are top issues

  • Men aligned on issues; women have small variation in priorities

  • English-speaking Quebecers concerned about language rights

Part Three: Best party and leader on top issues

  • Legault and CAQ favoured on health care and economy

  • Québec Solidaire trusted most on environment

Part Four: Vote intention

Part Five: Angus Reid Quebec Electoral Record

 

Part One: More feel Quebec is on the wrong track than right track

The Quebec election was labelled early on as potentially “boring”, given the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec party’s sizable advantage in preceding polls. However, that belies an electorate divided on the direction in which the province is heading. One-third (36%) of Quebecers say the province is on the right track, while more say it is heading in the wrong direction.

The latter sentiment is stronger among younger Quebecers and men under the age of 55:

Part Two: Leadership and top issues

No leader viewed positively by a majority

CAQ leader François Legault has the approval of more than two-in-five in the province. Still, Legault’s approval is at the lowest it has been in his term, declining consistently since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Legault’s favourability is matched by Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon and Québec Solidaire spokespeople Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois:

*Legault is measured by approval instead of favourability

Health care, economy, climate change are top issues

The country’s health-care system has been significantly challenged in recent months. In Quebec, emergency rooms were among those recently forced to close due to staff shortages. Additional problems with long wait lists for family doctors, and surgery backlogs exist.

Three-in-five (61%) Quebecers say health care is a top-three election issue to them, ahead of the environment (29%) and the economy (29%). Language rights, hotly debated as the ruling CAQ enforce the use of French in the province via Bill 96, is a top issue for one-in-five:

Men aligned on issues, women have small variation in priorities

Demographically, there is separation on which issues are most important. Men agree on the top three issues, though differ by age on the order of priority. For women, health care is the top issue among all age groups. The environment also ranks as a high priority for all women. But each age group has a different third priority:

English-speaking Quebecers concerned about language rights

The issue of language clearly divides Anglophones and Francophones. More than half (54%) of English-speaking Quebecers say language rights are a top issue for them. Fewer than one-in-ten (7%) French-speaking respondents agree:

Part Three: Best party and leader on top issues

Legault and CAQ favoured on health care and economy

Health care discussions have dominated the campaign. CAQ promised to build two private medical centres to help ease the strain on the health-care system. Notably, Quebecers were split as to whether more private health care would improve or worsen the system in recent Angus Reid Institute polling. Three-in-ten (29%) of Quebecers say Legault and the CAQ is the best choice to lead health care in the province:

Related: Half of Canadians say health-care system would suffer with an infusion of private care; one-in-three say it would help

Economically, Quebec faces a significant barrier to growth: a worsening worker shortage. Nonetheless, like many provinces, buoyed by inflation and a post-COVID-19 bounce back, revenues have exceeded annual forecasts. Quebecers are more likely to say the CAQ is the best choice on economic growth:

Québec Solidaire trusted most on environment

The parties have faced criticism for paying too little attention to climate change, but potential voters more put faith in Québec Solidaire on this issue. This, after the party announced it would apply a tax on heavy polluting vehicles and steer the province towards free public transit.

Part Four: Vote intention

The CAQ sees its support down from 2018, but comfortably ahead of any opposition. One-in-three (34%) say they will vote for the CAQ, while the Conservatives (19%), Liberals (16%), and Québec Solidaire (16%), battle for second place:

The advantage the CAQ appears to have over its rivals is among older voters. Conservative support hinges on participation among young men and Québec Solidaire support on young women:

*Smaller sample size, interpret with caution

Regionally, both Montreal and Capital Nationale appear to host tight races. The CAQ holds an advantage in most of the rest of the province:

Part Five: Angus Reid Quebec Electoral Record

The accuracy of Angus Reid polls in the last four provincial elections is high. The final election call has had an average error of two points or less to the final election results in the 2007, 2008, 2014 and 2018 Quebec elections.

Survey Methodology:

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Sept. 19 – 22, 2022 among a representative randomized sample of 1,221 Quebec adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here. Le rapport est aussi disponible en français.

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

Image – François Legault/Facebook

MEDIA CONTACT:

Shachi Kurl, President: 604.908.1693 shachi.kurl@angusreid.org @shachikurl

Dave Korzinski, Research Director: 250.899.0821 dave.korzinski@angusreid.org


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