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RSR ROBBINS Research - Canada Politics August 25, 2012
  Aug 25, 2012

This survey is dedicated to the memory of my father Douglas Robbins who died on this day 35 years ago. Although my father was born in Edmonton Alberta and raised his seven children in Saanich BC - he was nonetheless a Canadian patriot. A veteran of the Canadian Navy and World War II duty - my father loved his country and his family. One fond memory was the time my older sisters Judy and Colleen participated in a student exchange with Quebec students. The young ladies who stayed in our family home for those weeks -- were delightful - my father and our family enjoyed them immensely.

Question #1
Which leader and party did you vote for in the past Quebec provincial election 2008?
Jean Charest and Liberal Party    43 %
Pauline Marois and Parti Quebecois    35.5 %
Question #2
If an election were held tomorrow which leader and party would you vote for?
Pauline Marois and Parti Quebecois (35.7%)    40.6 %
Jean Charest and Liberal Party (27.6%)    31.5 %
Other Leader and party (24.1%)    27.3 %
Undecided/Can’t Answer    12.5 %
Question #3
Two of Canada’s Atlantic Provinces Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have put a stop to interest rates on all student loans. British Columbia’s New Democratic Leader Adrian Dix promises to do the same when he becomes Premier in May 2013. Do you (agree) or (disagree) that no interest should be charged on student loans for Quebec post secondary students?
Agree    62.4 %
Disagree    29.5 %
Undecided    8.7 %
Question #4
Should post secondary education be free of charge for Quebecers who have been citizens in the province for at least ten consecutive years?
Yes    49.4 %
No    36.5 %
Undecided    13.4 %
Question #5
In your opinion should Quebec Universities exist to?
(a) Shape minds and develop intellectual, cultural and scientific heritage    35.1 %
(b) Help create economic development    27.7 %
(c) Both a and b    27.3 %
(d) Undecided/Can’t Answer    10 %
Commentary
In our first ‘private’ small sample ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) poll (anonyme) of a Quebec general provincial election, ROBBINS discovered Mario Dumont and the Action democratique du Quebec (2007) rising in support – when the mainstream experts missed it--. After a failed election in 2008 (www.robbinssceresearch.com), the ADQ party has since disappeared.
In this, our second major Quebec survey (L’intimee a identifie), we sought out regions of the Province of Quebec which best reflected outcomes from the 2008 Quebec general election outcome in order to provide a superior strategic calling environment and baseline from which to derive an overall provincial election hypothesis. Although question 1 does not precisely mirror the outcome of the 2008 Quebec provincial election, its relationship to responses from question 2 is important as it provides valuable insight as to where voters from 2008 are currently situated in terms of leader and party support.
Based on this survey result Pauline Marois and Parti Quebecois are clearly holding or improving in public support while Jean Charest and his Liberal Party are slipping. Jean Charest has many 2008 voters supporting ‘Other Leader and Party’ or ‘Undecided/Can’t Answer’ now. On the other hand, respondents who say they voted for Pauline Marois and the Parti Quebecois in 2008 are apparently more certain to stick with her in this 2012 provincial general election in the Province of Quebec.
Based on the ridings strategically sampled, there is evidence that on the basis of tracking question 1 to question 2 voter/respondents (decided % for question 2), Jean Charest’s Quebec Liberals have lost or do not currently hold (27%) of their 2008 voter support, while Pauline Marois and Parti Quebecois and Parti Quebecois are holding their 2008 support and are up (14%) in decided support. Initial speculation based on the increase in per cent of “Other Leader and Party” for these regions from the outcome of the 2008 provincial election, is that Francois Legault and the CAQ are taking support from Jean Charest’s Quebec Liberals, and Quebec Solidaire is indirectly propping up the Parti Quebecois as more moderate and less separatist, without interfering with their overall support in any way.
If our data acquired from specific ridings were applied using simple mathematical adjustments to the 2008 general election totals for a hypothesized current provincial total - both Jean Charest’s Liberals and Pauline Marois’s Parti Quebecois would have adjustments, (2%) lower for Charest’s Liberals with a new adjusted provincial total of (30.87%) and (7%) lower for Pauline Marois’s Parti Quebecois and a new adjusted provincial total (37.76%). This would leave an additional (3.5%) over to ‘Other Leader and Party’ and ‘Undecided/Can’t Answer’ or ‘Other Leader and Party’ equal to (30.5%) and Undecided/Can’t Answer just less than (13%).
For example, in the Champlain sampling region the Parti Quebecois, which achieved 40.98% in the 2008 provincial general election, is ‘today’ trending toward 50%.
In another example, the Megantic-Compton constituency, the Parti Quebecois achieved 41.18% in 1998, and dropped to 31.07% in the 2003 provincial election as a consequence of the rise of the Action democratique from 7.31% in 1998 to 20.07% in 2003. In the pivotal 2007 provincial election in Megantic-Compton the Action democratique reached its all time high of 32.12%, while the Parti Quebecois fell to 28.99%. In the 2008 Quebec provincial election the Action democratique voter support withered away to one half of it’s 2007 support to 16.01%, and the Parti Quebecois increased to 35.13% – permitting the Parti Quebecois to regain momentum toward the 41.18% it achieved in 1998. The Quebec Liberal Party achieved even greater success from 2007 to 2008 increasing from 32.98% to 45.09%. Based on decided numbers we have the Parti Quebecois set to take this seat-- with over (decided) (40%) support and “Other Leader and Party” support at 26% at this point in time.
Similar to Megantic-Compton the riding of Orford reflected the rise and fall of the Action democratique du Quebec Party over the period of a decade - the ADQ achieved just 6.57% in 1994, 8.73% in 1998, 17.56% in 2003, 30.09% in 2007 --- subsequently falling to 13.32% in 2008. From 2003-2008 the Quebec Liberal Party achieved an average of 42% with a high of 48.48% (2003) to a low of 33.28% in 2007. The Parti Quebecois averaged just under 32.5% over this same period with a low of 28.46% in 2007 to a high of 36.93% in 2008. Our (raw data) sampling suggests that the Parti Quebecois could win this riding owing to the hold in support for that Party (34.5%), decrease in support for the Liberal Party (33%) – the rise in support for “Other Leader and Party” (23%) and the fact that a majority of the Undecided ‘today’ were previous Liberal Party supporters in 2008.
Other ‘mainstream polls’ conducted over the same period include Leger Marketing (August 24, 2012) who have the Parti Quebecois at -35%- and Quebec Liberal Party at -27%-, and Forum Research (August 20, 2012) who have Jean Charest’s Liberals ahead -35%- to -29%- for Pauline Marois’s Parti Quebecois. This ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) is more consistent with Leger Marketing’s poll in terms of outcome and date of completion. The ultimate difference is that ROBBINS numbers represent a specific calling environment sampling with a hypothesize derived from those numbers, while both the Leger Marketing and Forum Research represent ‘national’ polls in Quebec.
This ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) survey suggests that Pauline Marois’s Parti Quebecois have between a {zero to 15%} lead over Jean Charest’s Liberals in our provincial hypothetical.
The ‘elephant in the room’ -{problem serieux qui est connu mais est evite et ignore car il est plus facile de faire ainsi}- in this election to date is the effort to spend less time focusing on the so-called “embarrassing” riots which occurred in the streets in Quebec in the weeks and months leading up to this election call –. It is interesting that this election as called before the September session of post secondary education.
Our responses to the questions relating to Quebec student loans and the philosophical raison d’être of College/University education produces some stark responses – which appear to differ from mainstream polling conducted in the province over many months.
Quebecers clearly agree with no interest on student loans, free post secondary education for long time Quebec citizens, with a majority of respondents supporting the ideal of education “Shape (sic) minds and develop (sic) intellectual, cultural and scientific heritage”, over the practical objective to “Help create economic development” – by a decided 55% - 45% (respective) difference).
Based on these numbers – if they were to hold until election date, Pauline Marois and Parti Quebecois would win government, quite possibly a majority.
If the results of this ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) survey bear out --will a Parti Quebecois majority government prompt Justin Trudeau to repatriate to his home province to replace Jean Charest in the Quebec Liberal leadership that would follow? – and would Jean Charest wait for the opportunity to replace Stephen Harper as the leader of the (far more progressive) Conservative Party of Canada when Mr. Harper loses his majority (and possibly government) in 2015?
Methodology:
A ROBBINS Sce Research (1998) survey of 683 Quebecers conducted during August 16-23, 2012. This survey was conducted during the 2012 Quebec general election - Writ Period - to decide 125 seats on September 4, 2012 - The Quebec provincial general election. The intention of the survey was to conduct interviews from lists of Quebec voters in specific provincial ridings that most accurately reflected the results of the 2008 general provincial election. One riding included in the sampling defied this trend and reflected a Parti Quebecois result of 40% and a Liberal Party result of 35%. The survey is most apparently flawed to the extent that female participation was much higher than male by approximately 58% to 42% with significant adjustments required to properly reflecting actual gender demographics. This combined with relatively small telephone sample and reasonably high Undecided (but fairly low Undecided compared to 'national' polling) - limits significantly the scientific capacity of this poll. However, this does not diminish the fact that from our estimation Quebec voters favour Premier Jean Charest less than they did four years ago – and support Pauline Marois equal to and possibly more than they did four years ago.
Also, this survey does not actually reference Francois Legault of the CAQ – apparently a competitive force from the centre right side of the political spectrum or upstart Francois David co-leader with the Quebec Solidaire a centre left party. It does provide insight that voters are supporting other parties measured against the Charest Liberals and Marois Parti Quebecois to a higher level than they did in 2008. Given that Francois Legault's CAQ party is generally considered a centre right party - as The Quebec Liberal party is - it would strongly affirm our hypothesis that as not only are Quebecers tiring of the Liberal Party - they may also be considering a replacement - either the Parti Quebecois or the CAQ.
The Margin of Error of this ROBBINS Sce Research (private) survey is 3.75% plus or minus, 19 times out of 20 @ 95% confidence. According to this survey Pauline Marois and Parti Quebecois have a 98% probability of a lead over Jean Charest and Liberal Party – and that lead ranges between a low of one half of one per cent to 15.5% based on regional results and not the provincial hypothetical result conveyed in the body of the commentary. In this calling environment a sample size of 1050 would equate to (3%) M.O.E.; a sample size of 600 (4%), and 400 (5%).

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