Quebec election: Record number of early ballots; Legault rejects calls for electoral reform

Click to play video: 'Candidate steps down, stirs controversy after removing opponent’s election flyers'
Candidate steps down, stirs controversy after removing opponent’s election flyers
WATCH: With only days to go until election day in Quebec, the campaign rhetoric and actions on the ground are starting to heat up. Political pamphlets were removed from front doors and mailboxes in one case, forcing a candidate to drop out of the race. In another case, a volunteer was fired. Global's Tim Sargeant reports – Sep 27, 2022

Coalition Avenir Québec Leader François Legault says he’s open to working with opposition parties if his party wins the Oct. 3 election, but he is rejecting all calls to reform the electoral system.

Quebecers, he said, aren’t interested in electoral reform despite the fact his party is projected to win roughly 100 seats in the 125-seat legislature even though the CAQ is polling at less than 40 per cent support.

“It’s not a priority for Quebecers, but we’ll see how they vote on Oct. 3,” Legault told reporters during a campaign stop on the Gaspé Peninsula. “Nothing is settled, no one has been elected.”

He described himself as a uniting figure and said he is open to working with opposition parties on issues such as the environment and the protection of French.

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“I see my role as premier to bring people together, to work with the opposition,” Legault said, brushing off suggestions by the opposition that he is arrogant, saying Quebecers don’t see him that way.

A poll released Tuesday by Leger, for Quebecor media properties — Journal/TVA/QUB — has the CAQ at 37 per cent support, followed by Québec solidaire, the Liberals, the Conservatives and the Parti Québécois, each with 15 to 17 per cent support. The poll cannot be assigned a margin of error because respondents were selected from an online panel and not randomly.

Click to play video: 'Candidates shift into high gear after 30 days on the Quebec election campaign trail'
Candidates shift into high gear after 30 days on the Quebec election campaign trail

Poll-aggregator website has some of those opposition parties — despite polling 15 per cent or more — failing to secure a seat because of the fragmented vote.

In Montreal, Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade did not believe Legault’s show of good faith.

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“If there is one thing that François Legault has shown us in the last four years, it is his unwillingness to collaborate,” she told reporters, adding that he prefers to impose his ideas on other.

Also Tuesday, Élections Québec said a record 23 per cent of Quebec’s 6.3 million eligible voters participated in two days of advanced polls. More than 1.44 million people cast votes on Sunday and Monday. Three ridings around the provincial capital reported advanced voting turnout of more than 30 per cent.

“This is indeed the highest participation rate following the advance poll,” said Dany Lapointe, a spokesperson for the office that oversees elections.

It’s unclear, however, whether the record number of early ballots is a sign of high overall turnout or a shift in voting behaviour.

In the 2018 election, about 67 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot, down from 71 per cent in 2014.

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