Federal Liberals sliding in Quebec

Thu May 29, 2008 1:33pm EDT
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By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Liberal Party has slipped to a shaky fourth place in Quebec, the country's second most populous province, a new poll revealed on Thursday.

The Liberals have held off defeating the minority Conservative federal government partly because of consistent showings in national polls that put them a close second.

However, the latest CROP survey in La Presse newspaper gives them little reason for optimism.

It showed the Liberals trailing the separatist Bloc Quebecois, the Conservatives and now even the New Democratic Party across the largely French-speaking province.

The Liberals also trail the Conservatives in Montreal, which had been considered the their stronghold.

"Nothing is working for (leader) Stephane Dion's Liberals in Quebec," La Presse commented.

Quebec has nearly a quarter of the 308 seats in the House of Commons and is key to any party's hopes to win a majority in the next federal election.

The poll gave the Bloc, the only separatist party in the federal Parliament, 31 percent support, up three points in the past month. It put the Conservatives up one point at 28 percent, the New Democrats down one point at 16 percent and the Liberals down five points at 15 percent.   Continued...