This is from the CBC.
The Conservatives do not seem poised for the breakthrough in Quebec that they had hoped. As the article notes however the French debate may make a difference if Harper does well. The arts funding issue and get tough on youth crime speech did not help Harper at all in Quebec, quite the opposite it seems. Harper's advisers must be looking too much at his core conservative supporters.
Harper's Quebec support softening?Posted in Political Bytes Posted on September 29, 2008 10:38 AM Two polls published today in the Journal de Montréal and La Presse suggest that support for the Tories may be slipping in Quebec.
Emmanuel MarchandThe Léger poll in Le Journal de Montréal is the largest so far for Quebec with 3,624 people surveyed.
It reports support for the Bloc at 33 per cent of decides voters asked, with the Conservatives at 26 per cent, the Liberals at 23 per cent, the NDP at 12 per cent and the Greens at five per cent.
The regional breakdown is interesting, too with the Liberals and the Bloc pretty much tied on the Island of Montreal.
The Tories are hoping to make gains in the ridings around Montreal but the polls suggest it might be tough for them to pick up those seats.
The Bloc is still comfortably ahead in those riding with a 24-point lead north of Montreal and a 16-point lead in the areas south of the island.
Where the Conservatives do seem to have a good chance of keeping their seats is in the Quebec city area, the Beauce (where Maxime Bernier is still very popular), and the Saguenay.
Just last week the polls were showing the Tories in the lead in Quebec. The general consensus is that cuts to arts funding and Harper’s promise to get tough on youth crime have hurt them here.
La Presse’s poll focused on seven key ridings. It shows the race is tighter than originally thought. In Public Works Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn’s riding of Jonquière-Alma, the Bloc has taken a comfortable 12-point lead. Although Blackburn may be in trouble, the Conservatives have a good chance of keeping the neighbouring riding of Roberval-Lac-St-Jean. Tory candidate Denis Lebel has a 10-point lead over the Bloc candidate.
In the Quebec City area, the poll in La Presse is showing the Tories look like they may keep the ridings they won last election, but will likely not make any gains.
The French Debate on Wednesday may be key for all parties. Harper will have to come across as more conciliatory in order to try to win back the momentum.
Last election Harper gained a lot of support in the last two weeks and was able to make gains. This election the opposite seems to be happening.
— Emmanuel Marchand