Election in Quebec: the campaigns officially begin on Sunday before the vote on October 3

Quebec’s general election campaign has officially begun and the leaders of the five main parties have about five weeks to convince voters before the October 3 vote.

Quebec’s incumbent Premier Francois Legault tried to stay humble on Sunday as polls indicated it was his election to lose and his party was on course to win a bigger majority than it did. in the last general elections of 2018.

“We don’t take anything for granted,” he told reporters about an hour after his meeting with the lieutenant governor. J. Michel Doyon, during which the representative of the Crown dissolves the legislature and declares the general election.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in politics, it’s that trust is earned every day.”

Coalition Avenir Québec leader Francois Legault, left, and his wife Isabelle Brais watch as Lieutenant Governor J.Michel Doyon signs newspapers calling for a general election, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022, in Quebec City. Quebecers go to the polls for the general election on October 3. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Legault is the election veteran among the five major party leaders, having served as CAQ leader in the 2012, 2014 and 2018 campaigns. His four main opponents have never campaigned in a general election for the leadership. ‘a political party.

Meanwhile, Quebec Liberal Party leader Dominique Anglade was already dogged by questions Sunday morning about the fallen stature of her once mighty party. Although they were the official opposition before the dissolution of the legislature, the Liberals have less than 17% support, according to the latest Léger poll — and they are at around 7% with the French-speaking majority.

“We are a big party of the economy,” Anglade told reporters in Quebec.

The Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) campaign bus and party leader Dominique Anglade. (Sam Pouliot/CTV News)

She shrugged off polls and said the campaign was an opportunity to “start fresh”.

“The economy will be the question of the ballot box. I am going to question (Legault) on the economy; I’m going to challenge him to say that labor shortages are a good thing,” she said, referring to earlier remarks by the outgoing Prime Minister, who said that labor shortages labor are positive because they drive up wages.

Another party that has room to grow after losing popularity is the Parti Québécois (PQ), which maintained a focus on separatism ahead of the campaign.

A Canada338 poll on Sunday placed the PQ fifth in support at around 9%.

“The only certainty we have at this stage is that the polls will move. Very rarely [do] they stay the same,” said party leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

While the PQ has seen a slow decline in recent elections, Québec Solidaire, the province’s left-wing nationalist party, has seen steady growth in its representation.

Party spokesman Gabriel-Nadeau Dubois said he believes Quebecers crave a party without the baggage of inherited options.

“We tried the Liberals, the PQ and the rebranding of the old Liberals and the CAQ,” he said. “These people had a chance.”

“Now it’s time for a new generation to enter politics,” he continued. “It’s time for a new team with new ideas, new projects for Quebec. And this team, this vision, is Québec solidaire.

Québec solidaire sign on boul. Rene-Levesque. to Montreal. (Daniel J. Rowe/CTV News)

It was a similar speech from Eric Duhaim, leader of the new Conservative Party of Quebec.

Duhaim has caused a stir in recent months as his party, which currently holds only one seat (which it owns), rose in the polls.

This poll of 338 placed the Conservatives fourth – above the PQ – with 13% support.

“Voters will hear different ideas from us,” he said on Sunday, reiterating wishes for increased access to health care.

“If people can’t get care in the public system, they can go to the private system and public insurance will be forced to pay for that,” he said. “We will also talk about inflation and the economic crisis. We want to promise a major tax cut accompanied by a tax cut. We want the government to cut spending to allow Quebec families to breathe more.

Prior to the dissolution of the legislature, Legault’s party had 76 seats, while the Quebec Liberals had 27, Quebec solidaire had 10, and the Parti Quebecois had seven. The Conservative Party of Quebec held one seat, and there were four independents.

— This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 28, 2022 with files from CTV’s Luca Caruso-Moro.