New York Times Magazine
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Last week's crisis over the government's economic update didn't contribute to Monday night's stronger than expected showing for Pauline Marois's Parti Québécois, the Conservative Party's Quebec lieutenant said yesterday.
Speaking in an interview on RDI, Public Works Minister Christian Paradis denied the showdown and the government's decision to sharply criticize the Bloc Québécois played a role in the election results.
"It's obvious," Paradis said, pointing out that the government criticized the Bloc - not all Quebecers.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s comments about Quebec separatists gave the Parti Quebecois a major boost and helped the sovereigntist party close in on the Liberals in the provincial election, a leading pollster said Tuesday.Recommend this Post
In a reversal of the historic election-day trend, the PQ performed far better than expected and closed so much of the gap with the Liberals that it nearly deprived Charest of a majority.
The PQ’s share of the popular vote was just seven percentage points less than the Liberals — after polls just days ago placed it 14 points behind — and it held Charest’s troops to a three-seat majority.
Jean-Marc Leger, president of Leger Marketing, said a poll suggested 14 per cent of Quebecers changed their vote on the last day, with half making that flip-flop while at the ballot box.
Leger said the largest contributor to the discrepancy between pre-election polling and the final outcome Monday was Harper’s anti-Quebec rant in the home stretch of the campaign.
"Some angry comments against Quebec was not something really good and a lot of Quebecers were angry about that and voted for the PQ," he said.