Update 2: Democratic Space provides an overview of the projections and where they were wrong. Excerpts:
Our under-estimation of the ADQ came from a greater than expected swing towards the ADQ in just 2 regions: Lanaudiere-Laurentides and the Monteregie (largely due to the abandonment of the PQ in these regions). […]
Overall, of the 21 incorrect ridings, 16 were in our â€œtoo-close-to-callâ€ or â€œtight raceâ€ categories. So there were 5 genuine surprises.
(Well, the real surprise is that virtually every close riding swung the same way. In other words, it was not a case of “too close to call” but of the pollsters having missing the underlying trend.)
The remainder of this planting is unchanged since last night, but comments have kept coming in.
The Quebec provincial election has produced a Liberal minority government, the first resulting from an election in the history of the province (and the first at any time since 1878).
But here is the stunning part: The close race proved to be not between the Liberals and the Parti QuÃ©bÃ©cois, but between the Liberals the Action DÃ©mocratique du QuÃ©bec!
The ADQ, which had five seats in the previous parliament, will have 41 members in the new one, just seven seats behind the Liberals. Current Premier Jean Charest barely held his own riding. The PQ has 36 seats.
In the votes, it was Liberal 33.1%, ADQ 30.8, PQ 28.3, Green 3.9, QuÃ©bec Solidaire 3.7.
I agree with those who say this result gives federal Prime Minister Stephen Harper the incentive to force (and lose) a vote of confidence sooner rather than later: The provincial ADQ vote surge is encouraging news for Harper’s federal Conservatives. They just might gain enough in Quebec to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons. The very bad result for the PQ is also bad news for its federal equivalent, the Bloc QuÃ©bÃ©cois. Looks like the BQ was right to fear an election, as I suggested in commenting on their support of the recently tabled federal budget.