Serge Cardin (pictured above) leads the premier of Québec in his own election district by 12 points in the latest Segma poll — by a daunting margin of 45% to 33%.
It’s not a fluke — Jean Charest’s seat is one of the most vital election districts to watch among the 125 seats up for grabs in next Tuesday’s election for control of Québec’s Assemblée nationale, and it’s far from certain that Charest himself will even be reelected. Cardin’s 12-point lead is actually narrower than a poll earlier in the month that showed him with a 15-point lead.
Just yesterday, protesters in Sherbrooke proved so disruptive that Charest cancelled a campaign appearance in his own district. Moreover, Charest has spent a significant amount of time in Sherbrooke since announcing snap elections in early August, indicating that the premier is increasingly worried about his own constituency.
Although Charest has been the premier of Québec for nearly a decade, and he’s won elections in eight federal and provincial elections since 1984 in Sherbrooke, he faces an increasingly tough fight — the latest province-wide CROP poll shows his party, the Parti libéral du Québec (Liberal Party, or PLQ) in third place with just 26% to 33% for Pauline Marois’s sovereigntist Parti québécois (PQ) and 28% for François Legault’s newly-formed Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ).
Charest, who is seeking a fourth consecutive mandate from Québec voters, finds his government under attack from both the PQ and the CAQ on the economy, on his response to student protesters over the tuition increase and, above all, charges of corruption, including a high-profile commission investigating whether his government traded construction contracts in exchange for political financing. Continue reading Could this man defeat Québec premier Jean Charest in his own district?