Marois faces questions as new poll shows PQ losing ground

MONTREAL – Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois is being peppered with questions about whether her party’s message remains on the right track.

This comes as respondents in a new poll released today favoured Philippe Couillard’s Liberals over her party.

The CROP online survey was conducted March 12 to 16, and put the Liberals at 39 per cent support and the PQ at 36 per cent among respondents.

The same poll, which was done for Montreal newspaper, La Presse, said two-thirds of respondents indicated they did not want a referendum on sovereignty and that roughly the same amount believed the PQ would hold a referendum if elected on April 7.

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The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, said online surveys such as the CROP poll cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population like traditional telephone polls.

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A total of 1,400 questionnaires were completed for the poll.

In her only scheduled media availability on Tuesday, Marois was asked if referendum talk is hurting her party’s chances.

Marois stressed that Quebecers need to understand this election is about electing a provincial government and not about sovereignty.

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The PQ leader said that she believes her party has a sound game plan, with what she calls the best team and the best plan for the province, warning against a return to a Liberal government wrought with ethical problems.

“I can tell Quebecers one thing – they can trust us, we will respect our promises, we won’t pressure them and for the rest, they are hypothetical questions,” Marois said.

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The major parties focused on different electoral planks today – the Liberals on the economy, the PQ on education and the Coalition for Quebec’s Future on its taxpayer’s charter.

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