The provincial election in Québec is slated to take place on October 3, 2022. The clear favourite to win the election is the current incumbent - premier Francois Legault who leads the Coalition Avenir Québec party (or CAQ).
According to current polling data, the CAQ is clearly to take a commanding majority win in the Québec parliament. Taking the average rolling polls, the Québec vote projection gives the CAQ 43% of the total electoral vote. This gives the CAQ nearly 100 seats in the Québec parliament, which would easily cement them as the majority party. The min-max data gives the CAQ winning anywhere from 87 to 108 seats in Assemblée Nationale du Québec.
The ‘Parti Libérale du Québec’ is projected at a distant second to win 18% of the vote and receiving winning around 10 to 24 seats.
In third place, we have the socialist party, ‘Québec Solidaire’, which is projected to receive 14% of the total vote and receive 5 to 11 seats as a result.
In fourth place, the ‘Parti Conservateur du Québec’ would win around 14% of the vote and would receive 0 seats due to their inefficient vote allocation.
The infamous ‘Parti Québecoiis’ which almost led Québec to secede from Canada is now slated to receive 1 to 4 seats with 9% of the projected vote. Putting them with the lowest seat count compared to any other Québec party.
Although these topline numbers clearly put the CAQ to a commanding majority lead in this upcoming election. Looking at regional polls gives us a better light on how well the CAQ is really doing.
Overall, seat projections are very much favouring the CAQ. Gains against the LIB in seat-rich Montréal will put the CAQ in an offensive position to do even better than their 2018 election outcome. Rural Québec will likely have the CAQ dominate just as in 2018. Here’s the breakdown:
Northern Montréal had some seats (Bourget and Pointes-aux-Trembles most notable) gained by the CAQ in the last election and this trend will likely continue further.
From the northern region, ridings such as ‘Bourassa-Sauvé’ and ‘Anjou-Louis-Riel’ are toss-up seats that could either go to the incumbent Parti Libérale or the CAQ. This suggests that the CAQ is starting to chip into the Montréal metropolitan vote that the Parti Libérale relies on for the majority of their seats.
Southern Montréal seats like ‘Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne’ and ‘Verdun’ are likely gains for the CAQ based on current projections. This means the CAQ has entered into the realm of taking LIB-held Montréal seats from both the south and the north but will likely not dent the central downtown areas.
In the outer southern region of the Island of Montréal, The CAQ is also projected to gain from the LIB in the ‘La Porte’ and ‘La Pinière’ seats in the cities of Saint-Catherine and La Prairie.
Seats in Laval have already been penetrated by the CAQ in the 2018 election. This trend of Laval going CAQ will likely continue even further based on current projections. Ridings in Laval like ‘Fabre, Mile-Iles, Marguerite-Bourgeoys, Vilmont, and Laval-des-Rapides’ are all likely gains the CAQ will make from the LIB. This means that Laval would be in full control by the CAQ outside of one seat (Chomeday) which is a likely hold for the LIB.
The CAQ is thus on the offensive in Laval and Montréal where they will be able to take control of incumbent LIB seats where the Parti Libérale is the strongest and most concentrated.
The possibility of LIB seats being lost to the CAQ in the Greater Montréal Area shows that the Parti Libérale is on a downwards trajectory. At this point, the Parti Libérale is entirely dependent on anglophone ridings in Southern Montréal like Sherbrooke and Saint-Laurent for the rest of the seats they have. Overall, not a good look for seat growth for the Parti Libérale.
For rural Québec, the CAQ is projected to completely dominate at least 80% of the seats. This is largely due to the CAQ being able to effectively cater to the rural francophone majority in policies like immigration and language protection.
The CAQ is also very rhetorically effective in igniting cultural and nationalistic signalling to rural voters who identify as French more than Canadian.
Indeed, from the early signs of the CAQ campaign, the CAQ seems to be focusing their policy efforts on immigration control and strengthening the French language. And rhetorically campaigning with nationalistic undertones in Legault’s speeches and debates.
For immigration, the CAQ is demanding the federal government give Québec full control of immigration. Currently, Québec has some control over what kind of immigrants they receive from the federal government’s list of accepted migrants.
For language, the CAQ is championing the controversial Bill 96 that would force new immigrants to try and learn French in six months before public services would only be offered in French. Experts in Québec argue that this method to force migrants to learn French will be ineffective and “inhumane”, arguing that learning French in six months is “nearly impossible”.
Instead, experts argue that immigrants and refugees require more French learning support services and classes over time for them to fully learn the language. A fixed date to learn French will not be effective in their opinion.
Will the CAQ Win?
The current projections for the Québec election point toward a strong CAQ majority, with the rest of the opposition parties risking losing some of the few seats they have. Although projections, prospects, and voter apathy can change over time as the election looms closer. But as of right now, the CAQ will dominate in the coming election.
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