The campaign statred out serenely, with a confident Marois, a concerned Couillard and a desperate Legault. Now it is a confident Couillard, an energised Legault and a very desperate Marois. What went wrong for the PQ and what has caused the Liberal upsurge and the CAQ's revival? Campaign gaffes by the PQ who could not control the agenda; a revealing first debate that showed a premier-like Couillard and a second debate performance by a "charged up" Legault.
The PQ started to unravel when their star candidate, Pierre Peladeau, pumped his fist in the air and stated that he was in the election to create a country for his chilgren. The sovereignty/ referendum bogeyman was out of the bag and in the open and nothing was going to put it back in. Marois had built her entire campaign on the Charter of Values. Now all hell broke loose and try as she did, she could not get away from the R & S words. It has dominated the campaign. It did not help that she also added to her problems by talking aout borders and passports. In the second debate she tried again and again to state that only when Quebecers are ready, will there be a referendum, and this further muddied the waters. Lisee, did not help when said that a referendum will be held in a year. Others also got caught up in the referendum conundrum, like her female "Jewish" candidate. Then her "Values Charter" became a problem, when some of her candidates statred to defend it by stating that anyone who loses their jobs, will be helped to get a new one in the private sector, while others like Drainville (minister responsible for the Charter) repeated that there will be no changes and that those who do not obey it when it became law will lose their jobs. Then came the fantasy of Janette and her " rich Muslims from Mcgill" tgaking over her swimming pool.
In the meantime, the Liberals had the steady and calm hand of Couillard guiding them, even when he was pressured on his connection to Porter, his job in Saudi Arabia and his off-shore bank account. Nothing stuck to him. He is the "teflon" man. He was cool under attack and while he did not perform too well in the second debate, where he was put under "the gun" by Legault, he still held his own and after the debate he immediately returned the focus on the PQ and the referendum.
Legault went for broke in the second debate and would seem to have saved his party from losing most of their seats, but it may still happen, if he is caught between the Liberals and PQ. If ( and it seems like it) the PQ loses support, it may well go to the CAQ, but if the CAQ loses support, especially in the Quebec City area, it will go to the Liberals.
At this point, the Liberal are about 7-10 points ahead of the PQ. If this holds true, the Liberals will form a majority government. There is no coming back for the PQ.
Here is my prediction.....Liberals 71; PQ 36; CAQ 15; QS 3.
8th April....... Well the verdict is in and the Liberals have emerged as the big winner with 70 seats. The CAQ made progress, better than expected with 22 seats, even though thsy lost their base in Quebec City, which returned to the Liberals. The CAQ did well in the 450 region with their economic message. The PQ was devastated, with their worst showing since 1989. Marois lost her seat but Lisee, Drainville and the "fistmsn" Peladeau won and now they are elbowing each other for the vacant leadership.
The PQ are a generational party and now they have to broaden their base or sufferr a slow death. The language issue has run its course. Quebecoises are gaining in confidence and the new electronic world has drawn them into the larger world. As Couillard, the biG winner stated bilingualism on the factory floor is a benefit.
it's now time to enjoy 4 years of social peace, economic growth and stability. Cheers.