HomeNewsFrançois Legault in enviable place as Quebec election marketing campaign approaches

François Legault in enviable place as Quebec election marketing campaign approaches



François Legault’s win within the 2018 provincial election marked the beginning of a brand new period in Quebec politics, after almost 50 years of federalist-versus-separatist two-party rule.

4 years later, Legault and his Coalition Avenir Québec are firmly in management, with polls suggesting he’ll cruise to a second majority victory on Oct. 3.

Specialists supply quite a few causes to elucidate Legault’s runaway lead, together with his reputation amongst francophones, the fragmentation of the opposition and the sustained visibility he obtained in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most polls present Legault with help within the mid-40 per cent vary — greater than double that of his closest adversary, the Liberals. Days forward of Sunday’s marketing campaign launch, poll-aggregator web site QC125.com pegged the likelihood of Legault’s occasion successful a majority authorities at greater than 99 per cent.

Valerie-Anne Maheo, an assistant professor of political science at Université Laval, stated the election comes after greater than two years of a pandemic throughout which Legault was “omnipresent.”

Story continues beneath commercial

“He was there every single day giving information conferences; we noticed him on a regular basis, and he ruled by decree due to the well being emergency,” she stated in a current telephone interview. Opposition events — most of which had new leaders –struggled for visibility as a result of debate within the legislature on most points concerning the pandemic was suspended, she added.

Learn extra:

Montreal enterprise group need events to spice up immigration targets as Quebec election looms

However Legault’s rise and continued power can’t be solely attributed to circumstance, she stated.

The outgoing Quebec premier, Maheo stated, has been capable of capitalize on a brand new political panorama that started shifting even earlier than his occasion was fashioned in 2011. For almost 50 years, Quebec politics was outlined by two competing visions: sovereignty, helmed by the Parti Québécois, and federalism, championed by the Liberal Social gathering of Quebec.

However as curiosity in sovereignty has waned, a extra conventional right-left political divide has emerged. That shift, she stated, has led to the standard events shedding floor in favour of the centre-right CAQ and — to a lesser diploma — left-leaning Québec solidaire.

Legault’s nationalist strategy, which consists of asserting Quebec’s political sovereignty whereas ruling out an independence referendum, seems to have gained over a big chunk of the standard Parti Quebecois base, Maheo stated. The CAQ has additionally efficiently unseated the Liberals because the occasion seen because the strongest supervisor of the financial system, she stated.

Story continues beneath commercial

Consequently, the Liberals and PQ are struggling to redefine themselves below the brand new management of Dominique Anglade and Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, respectively.

“Legault was very expert as a result of he managed to short-circuit this debate between sovereignty and federalism,” Maheo stated. “He stated, `I’m not involved with that, I’m going to defend the pursuits of Quebec, it doesn’t matter what the shape.”’

The share of individuals talking French as their first language continues to fall in Quebec, resulting in nervousness over the way forward for the language

The share of individuals talking French as their first language continues to fall in Quebec, resulting in nervousness over the way forward for the language – Aug 17, 2022

Daniel Béland, director of the McGill Institute for the Examine of Canada, says Legault stands to learn from a fragmented political panorama that has 4 opposition events polling between 10 and 20 per cent. Most opposition events, he stated, look like in “defensive mode,” together with a Liberal occasion that’s going through backlash from its conventional anglophone base over a perceived failure to defend the group in opposition to Invoice 96, Quebec’s language legislation reform.

The Conservative Social gathering of Quebec, which has emerged from obscurity below the management of former radio persona Eric Duhaime, seems to be the one opposition occasion on the rise, Beland stated. But it surely’s unclear, he added, whether or not the Conservatives’ new-found help across the Quebec Metropolis space will translate into seats.

Story continues beneath commercial

Beland famous that whereas Legault’s approval rankings could have dipped from the peak of the pandemic, the premier stays comparatively unscathed by controversies — together with the deaths of hundreds of long-term care residents in the course of the first wave of the pandemic, the adoption of the language reform, and the passing of Invoice 21, which bans some civil servants from sporting spiritual symbols to work.

These two legal guidelines pre-emptively invoke the however clause of the Canadian Constitution of Rights and Freedoms to protect them from authorized challenges, main critics to accuse Legault of trampling linguistic and non secular minority rights.

READ MORE: Much more ladies than males not working once more in Quebec’s fall election

The important thing to Legault’s resilience, Béland stated, lies in his robust help amongst his principally rural francophone base — and likewise inside his personal caucus. The opposition to the language and secularism legal guidelines, Beland famous, is concentrated in Montreal, the place the CAQ gained solely two seats in 2018 and the place the occasion doesn’t have to win on Oct. 3 to safe a second majority.

Legault’s unquestioned management in his personal occasion, Beland stated, allowed him to get away with flip-flopping at instances, together with cancelling a short-lived plan to tax individuals who remained unvaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.

“He has some wiggle room to vary course when essential, when he sees that there’s a backlash occurring,” he stated.

Story continues beneath commercial

Each Béland and Maheo stated that whereas Legault is in a powerful place forward of the vote, he has his weaknesses.

Béland says {that a} new wave of the pandemic or worsening inflation might put stress on the CAQ chief. As effectively, not one of the opposition occasion leaders have participated in a leaders debate earlier than, that means considered one of them might emerge as a star and seize Quebecers’ help on both subject, he stated.

Maheo stated Legault in the course of the marketing campaign will face robust questions on immigration and on the setting. The occasion, she stated, isn’t seen as an environmental chief and has been reluctant to lift immigration targets regardless of persistent labour shortages.

There’s additionally the opportunity of a serious stumble, though Maheo notes that Legault’s robust lead makes that appear much less probably.

“He’s so certain of successful that he can virtually let himself get away with making half guarantees and never get too concerned within the discussions within the debates,” Maheo stated.

Because the legislature broke for the summer season, Legault’s occasion had 76 seats, whereas the Quebec Liberals had 27, Québec solidaire had 10 and the Parti Québécois had seven. The Conservative Social gathering of Quebec held one seat and there have been 4 Independents.

© 2022 The Canadian Press



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here