No left-wing activist wishes more than I that the media hype over the Conservatives’ putative death knell in Québec was reflective of reality.
Unfortunately, any progressive who wishes to buy in to that comforting and pacifying story is being sold a bill of goods. Real organizing and the real fight to sweep the Tories from Canada’s most progressive province depends on being able to accurately estimate Conservative Party support. The data now suggests that in the last four months the Conservatives have recovered as much as — if not more than — 50% of their lost ground in La Belle Province.
To be sure, the Conservatives are still down by 5-6 points from their 2008 election showing and are in risk of loosing at least one or two seats. However even the most pessimistic numbers (from the Conservatives’ perspective) do not have the Tories loosing even half of their seats in Quebec.
Election planners with Canada’s two largest progressive parties — the NDP and the Bloc Québécois (the Liberals are not, under any definition of the term, progressive) — would be foolish to adopt a strategy that counts the Tories out or that does not consider them a continuing threat in the province.