Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh will campaign in Quebec on Wednesday, right after Andrew Scheer spent a full day in the province, highlighting the importance placed on swing voters in cities such as Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Quebec City in the final week before the election.
The leaders of the Liberal Party, the NDP and the Conservative Party are not only battling one another in Quebec. As they embark on a last-minute pitch in the province, they are also contending with Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, who has focused his campaign on voters in Quebec’s francophone-majority ridings.
On Tuesday, Mr. Blanchet accused the previous Conservative government and the Liberal government of Mr. Trudeau of having neglected the Davie shipyard for years. Speaking in front of the facility in Lévis, he said Bloc MPs, wielding the balance of power in an eventual minority government, “offer the best hopes for Davie’s ability to obtain its fair share of [federal shipbuilding] contracts.”
Campaigning in Quebec City, Trois-Rivières and the Montreal area on Tuesday, Mr. Scheer took a series of shots at Mr. Blanchet and the Bloc, which is competing with the Conservatives for the votes of Quebeckers disappointed by the Liberal government.
“Voting for Bloc MPs is the best way to allow Mr. Trudeau to stay on as Prime Minister,” Mr. Scheer said.
Mr. Trudeau will be spending two days in Quebec starting on Wednesday, with a focus on Montreal, suburban ridings on the South Shore and cities such as Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke. Mr. Singh will also be in the Montreal area on Wednesday, including a stop in Hudson, where former NDP leader Jack Layton grew up.
At the start the campaign, the Liberals and the Conservative each hoped to add to their respective tallies of 40 and 11 seats in Quebec, while the NDP wanted to salvage its 14 ridings in the province.
The Bloc, however, is now confident it can hold its 10 seats and steal from the other major parties on Oct. 21. The Bloc has endorsed all positions supported by Quebec’s popular Premier, François Legault, garnering positive media coverage in Quebec during the campaign.
According to a Nanos Research poll, the Bloc’s public support has risen by five points during the campaign outside of Montreal, which is where most of the swing ridings in Quebec are located. Pollster Nik Nanos said that with Vancouver and the ridings in the 905 area code just outside Toronto, Quebec is “one of the top three battlegrounds” in the current campaign.
The Nanos poll has the Liberals in the lead in Quebec at 34.7 per cent, followed by the Bloc at 24.5 per cent, the NDP at 15.5 per cent and the Conservatives at 15.2 per cent. The Greens are at 8.3 per cent and the People’s Party is at 0.7 per cent.
The Liberals are dominant in the Montreal area, but there is a much tighter race in the rest of the province where the Liberals are at 28.5 per cent, the Bloc at 25.7 per cent and the Conservatives at 24 per cent.
Mr. Nanos said there is a unique dynamic in Quebec because the vote splits “create uncertainty. This is where the organization on the ground will be important for all parties.”
The poll was sponsored by The Globe and Mail and CTV, with a total of 855 Quebeckers surveyed from Oct. 4 to Oct. 13. It has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, with a margin of error of 4.7 percentage points for results outside of Montreal.
Respondents were asked: “If a federal election were held today, could you please rank your top two current local voting preferences?” A report on the results, questions and methodology for this and all surveys can be found at tgam.ca/election-polls.
With reports from Janice Dickson and Kristy Kirkup