PLATTSBURGH — Be careful what you wish for.
That's the potential lesson for Quebec Premier Pauline Marois of the Party Quebecois as Quebec voters head to the polls on Monday.
Dr. Christopher Kirkey, director of the Center for the Study of Canada at SUNY Plattsburgh, said when Marois called for the election, he did so based on polls that showed the Party Quebecois stood a strong chance of moving from a minority government reliant on assistance from other parties to pass legislation to a majority government.
"They expected to be in a comfortable cruising altitude. It didn't turn out that way," he said.
Since the election call, the Parti Quebecois has been losing support to other parties, mainly the Coalition Avenir Quebec, Action Solidaire party and the Liberal party.
The slide really snowballed after Pierre-Karl Peladeau, a leading media mogul in Quebec, announced his plan to run as a Parti Quebecois candidate. His announcement was coupled with a strong message that he would push for Quebec sovereignty.
Kirkey said that alienated many on the left side of the Party Quebecois, who turned their support to the three other main parties.
POLLS FAVOR LIBERALS
With 125 seats in the Quebec National Assembly, a majority government requires 63 seats. The most recent polls showed the Liberals with a chance to form their own majority government.
As of April 1, the website ThreeHundredeight.com showed the Liberals could win 72 seats, the Parti Quebecois 46, the Coalition Avenir Quebec 5 and Quebec Solidaire 2. Those numbers stood at 50, 54, 19 and 2 respectively after the last election, held in September 2012.
An ISPOS-Read poll commissioned by CTV released April 2 showed the Liberals with 37 percent of decided voters compared to 28 percent for the Parti Quebecois, 19 percent for the Coalition Avenir Quebec and 13 percent for Quebec Solidaire.
That compares with a poll on March 18 that showed the Liberals with 37 percent support, the Parti Quebecois with 32 percent, the Coalition Avenir Quebec with 16 percent and the Quebec Solidaire with 10 percent.