(originally from 23 March, with updates on 26 March)
With polls now open across Quebec, Democratic Space has posted its detailed final pre-election analysis, noting the election is too close to call but that a PLQ minority government now looks more likely than one headed by the PQ. A few days ago, the ADQ was within two percentage points of overtaking the PQ for second place in votes, but the PQ had the narrow edge in projected seats. (I don’t think it has ever happened anywhere that the seat plurality went to a party with the third most votes; it still won’t have happened.) In the interim, the ADQ has lost about a point and a half in votes to the PLQ, but the latter has picked up about 5% in projected seats, mostly at the expense of the PQ (thanks to the vagaries of three-way competition under FPTP). Of course, all of this is well within margins of error, so several scenarios remain in play. But a PLQ minority appears most likely.
The current projection at Democratic Space is for only 51 seats for the incumbent Liberal party (PLQ), 50 for the Parti QuÃ©bÃ©cois (PQ), and 24 for the Action dÃ©mocratique du QuÃ©bec (ADQ).
The voting intentions of voters have not changed all that much at the aggregate level, but three-party politics under FPTP can be volatile, and as the ADQ grows even slightly, it is cutting more into the potential PLQ seats than to those of the PQ.
For example, compare the DS projection based on polling about a month before election day (and on riding-level analysis) to the current one. Over that time, the PLQ voting intention has fallen by 2.2 percentage points, but their seats having fallen by 11.2 points (from 65, a narrow majority, to the present projection of 51). Meanwhile, the ADQ has gained 3.2 percentage points in the vote and nine seats (7.2%). The PQ is gaining in expected seats, despite no real change in votes. If the trend were to continue and be realized on election day, the PQ could wind up with the most seats, albeit several short of a majority.
I know I have several readers who are in (or follow the politics of) Quebec. I hope they will consider this an open thread on the closing days of the campaign. Thanks to all those who have commented on this campaign thus far!