Election Insights: How a single debate question may have flipped Quebec for the Bloc


This time last week, virtually all of the major parties could have been happy with their prospects in Quebec. Buoyed by an endorsement from the popular Quebec Premier François Legault, the Conservatives were set to capture six more seats than the 10 they won in 2019. The NDP were poised to get a couple more additions to their one-member Quebec caucus. And the Liberals were set to roughly maintain the Quebec seat count they won in 2019; not great, but a rare point of light in an election that has seen Liberal support plunge elsewhere in the country. Then, something happened. Over the weekend, Polly’s projections for the Bloc Québécois seat count jumped from 22 to 38. After languishing behind the Liberals in Quebec for much of Election 44, the Bloc was suddenly leading the province’s popular vote and was in realistic contention to become the third-largest party in the 44th parliament. The weird thing about the Bloc Québécois is its ability to steal votes from across the spectrum. According to Polly, last week’s surge in Bloc support coincided with plummeting support for the Liberals, the Conservatives and even the NDP.

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