How the CAQ won the Quebec provincial election
November 20, 2018
Young people, immigrants and undecided voters helped propel the Coalition Avenir Québec to victory, according to a Radio-Canada analysis based on data provided by Vox Pop Labs, the firm that runs Vote Compass in partnership with CBC and Radio-Canada.
Before the campaign began, 39 per cent of voters had already made up their mind. On the infographic, each circle represents one out of every 100 voters (see the section entitled “behavioural data” in the methodology below).
From the beginning, the CAQ had an advantage: 16 per cent of voters had already decided to vote for the party before the official start of the campaign on Aug. 23. Eleven per cent of voters had already decided on the Liberals at that time, seven per cent on the Parti Québécois, and five per cent on Québec Solidaire.
Every week during the campaign, the CAQ was able to win over more undecided voters than any other party.
The CAQ also won over more undecideds on election day.
That’s how the CAQ garnered 39 per cent of the votes given to the four main parties, compared to 26 per cent for the Liberals, 18 per cent for the PQ and 17 per cent for QS.
There are many reasons why voters choose one party over another.
Only a quarter of the people who voted for the CAQ chose the party for its policies, its leader or its candidates.
The CAQ was able to widen that gap by bringing together those who wanted to prevent another party from winning: 10 per cent of voters backed the CAQ for that reason.
Another thing to note: Unlike any other party, a majority of the people who voted for Québec Solidaire did so based on the party’s political platform.
Political leaders did not have much sway on their own, as only seven out of 100 voters chose a party based on its leader above all else, despite all the media hype.
Radio-Canada also analyzed the voting intentions of 220,853 people who used Vote Compass. The data is very similar to the election results, and reveal interesting trends (see the section entitled “voter intentions” in the methodology section below).
Here, we can see that the CAQ had the upper hand in all age categories.
Among the youngest respondents, the CAQ (10 per cent of all voters) was closely followed by QS (nine per cent).
The CAQ was able to win over a number of immigrant voters, according to Vote Compass data.
Voters who were born abroad were just as seduced by the CAQ as by the Liberals, with both parties garnering seven per cent of those respondents. This, despite Legault’s plans to lower the number of immigrants and introduce a values test.
One thing to mention: take a look at the profile of the respondents, according to their mother tongue.
Twelve per cent of anglophone and non-francophone respondents displayed the intention to vote for the Liberals.
But the CAQ’s dominance among francophone voters (33 per cent) left the Liberals no chance.
Legault’s party also appealed to voters of all income brackets.
Only respondents with household incomes above $150,000 seemed to waver between the CAQ, who had eight per cent of all respondents, and the Liberals, who had seven.
Because income level and education are strongly correlated, we see a similar trend in respondents with a high education level.
The CAQ was unbeatable among respondents with a high school or college degree.
But more respondents with a university degree displayed the intention to vote Liberal (11 per cent of all voters) than for the CAQ (10 per cent).
There also clear differences along gender lines.
The CAQ and Liberals attracted more men.
Québec Solidaire was more popular among women.
All data was obtained from Vox Pop Labs, an independent, non-partisan, Toronto-based organization that collects and analyzes electoral data through Vote Compass.
Behavioural data
The information on voter behaviour comes from a panel of 8,223 respondents. The responses were collected between Oct. 10 and Oct. 25, then weighted to be representative of the Quebec population. This is comparable to a probabilistic sample that has a 1.1 per cent margin of error 19 times out of 20.
Vote intentions
The information on voting intentions is based one the socio-demographic profile of the voters who used CBC’s Vote Compass tool. That represents 220,853 respondents who completed the questionnaire from Aug. 23 to Oct. 1. The responses were weighted to be representative of the Quebec population.
Naël Shiab data journalist, Santiago Salcido designer, Éric Larouche editor, Claire Loewen translator