Quebec Liberals could win majority government

Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:58am EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Quebec's ruling Liberals could win a majority government over their separatist rivals when voters go to the polls December 8, the Globe and Mail said Wednesday citing a poll it commissioned.

The survey of 1,002 people in the province, conducted by Leger Marketing, showed the Liberals leading by 11 points over the Parti Quebecois, though it also showed the Parti Quebecois retaining favor among Francophones, the Globe an Mail said.

Other parties, including Action Democratique du Quebec, the Green Party, and Quebec Soidaire, trailed far behind.

"The most probable scenario would be a Liberal majority government. However, because of the uncertainty of the Francophone vote, a drop of one to three percentage points by the Liberals would put them in a minority government situation," the Globe and Mail quoted Christian Bourque, vice-president of research at Leger Marketing, as saying.

Quebec Liberal Premier Jean Charest called the election earlier this month, saying he needed a strong mandate to steer the predominantly French-speaking province through the global financial crisis.

Charest won a majority in the 2003 election but barely hung on to power in the next election in March 2007, when the Liberals won 33 percent of the vote.

The Liberal's showing of 44 percent marked a three-point gain from last week's Leger Marketing poll, with the Parti Quebecois' 33 percent marking a two-point loss.

The Liberals have 48 of the 125 seats in Quebec's National Assembly. The ADQ, which has slumped in popularity over recent months, has 39 seats, while the Parti Quebecois has 36. There are two vacancies.

A poll this size is considered accurate to within 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis)