Strategic voters’ guide to the Quebec 2014 election

The Parti Québécois posted this video ad on Friday, featuring former voters of Québec solidaire and Option nationale who have decided to vote for the Parti Québécois this time. The message is simple and explicit: Don’t split the vote by voting for the other left-wing sovereignist parties.

The ad bugged me. Not because it’s a PQ ad, or because it’s trying to discourage people from voting for other parties. Or even because it’s a two-minute ad that has 27 seconds of another party’s campaign video.

No, it bugged me because if the PQ’s strategy is really anyone-but-Couillard don’t-split-the-vote, then it should have told 34 of its candidates to withdraw from the race and endorse another candidate.

Based off these riding-by-riding projections from Too Close To Call, which I use only because there isn’t any better way to project what the likely numbers are where, there are 29 ridings where the Coalition avenir Québec candidate is ahead of the PQ candidate, and another five where the Québec solidaire candidate is ahead of the PQ candidate. But in all these cases, the PQ candidate is still in the race (though perhaps keeping quiet). Only in one riding has the PQ decided not to run in order not to split the vote: La Pinière, where former Liberal Fatima Houda Pepin, who left the party over disagreements about the PQ charter of values, is running as an independent.

But whatever, it wouldn’t be the first time a desperate party threw up a bucket of hypocrisy at the end of a campaign.

So if the PQ wants people to vote strategically, how would you do it? Not just anyone-but-Liberals, but anyone-but-party-X?

Here, Québec solidaire is right, if exaggerated. It is actually complicated in any riding where more than two parties have a chance. And there are a lot of those. The TCTC projection shows seven ridings where three parties have a 10% or more chance of winning, and 20 ridings total where there’s a reasonable chance that any of three parties could win.

Based on that projection, I’ve created the chart below. It’s a chart with numbers to use to determine how to vote strategically. The first five columns give the riding-by-riding projections (the fifth is for independents, but the only one worth noting is Houda Pepin). There are no ridings where Option nationale, the Green party or others make any sense to vote for strategically, so I’ve excluded them.

The next four columns are the anybody-but-X columns telling you who to vote for based on who you have decided is the embodiment of pure evil. Generally, it means voting for the party most likely to win the seat, unless that’s your anybody-but party, in which case you vote for the next-most-likely candidate.

The final two columns assume your sole issue is sovereignty, and would either be fine with one of the two sovereignist parties, or fine with either the Liberals or CAQ. (If you don’t think the CAQ is federalist enough, then your only strategic choice is to vote for the Liberals.) Again, neither ON nor the Greens have enough support to be worth considering in any riding.

There are five cases where one of the four main parties isn’t running a candidate. Besides the aforementioned case where the PQ isn’t running a candidate in La Pinière, there were three CAQ candidates and one Québec solidaire candidate (all in Montreal-area Liberal strongholds) whose nomination papers were rejected. Those cases are marked N/C or “no candidate” since there’s no reason to vote against a candidate who doesn’t exist.

Feel free to complain that the polls are wrong, or the projections are wrong, because your gut feeling tells you otherwise. You can repeat the exercise with numbers from ThreeHundredEight.com or your back-alley pollster or party strategist of choice.

And if you think this whole strategic voting thing is nonsense, you could vote for a party that supports some form of proportional representation or alternative voting method. Unfortunately, none of that is in the PQ’s platform.

Riding PLQ PQ CAQ QS Ind Anybody but PLQ Anybody but PQ Anybody but CAQ Anybody but QS Oui side only Non side only*
Abitibi-Est 41.9% 36.1% 15.4% 6.0% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Abitibi-Ouest 25.0% 48.7% 17.1% 6.5% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Acadie 61.8% 14.5% 14.2% 9.3% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Anjou-Louis-Riel 46.1% 26.9% 17.0% 10.0% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Argenteuil 37.6% 35.9% 21.1% 3.9% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Arthabaska 37.3% 17.6% 39.2% 5.3% CAQ CAQ PLQ CAQ PQ CAQ
Beauce-Nord 31.5% 7.8% 57.1% 3.5% CAQ CAQ PLQ CAQ PQ CAQ
Beauce-Sud 48.0% 9.0% 39.1% 3.7% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Beauharnois 28.8% 43.3% 21.4% 5.2% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Bellechasse 46.1% 12.7% 36.9% 4.3% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Berthier 21.8% 44.5% 26.9% 6.1% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Bertrand** 26.8% 39.5% 26.8% 6.7% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Blainville 25.2% 33.3% 36.2% 5.2% PQ CAQ CAQ CAQ PQ CAQ
Bonaventure 39.6% 44.7% 9.4% 6.3% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Borduas 25.7% 37.1% 29.5% 7.0% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Bourassa-Sauvé 48.1% 23.2% 14.7% 13.0% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Bourget 25.6% 42.0% 18.4% 12.3% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Brome-Missisquoi 42.4% 23.4% 28.2% 5.9% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Chambly 24.5% 37.8% 29.7% 6.2% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Champlain 29.0% 34.4% 29.7% 5.5% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Chapleau 48.7% 23.6% 20.0% 6.0% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Charlesbourg 41.7% 19.3% 33.7% 4.8% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Charlevoix-Côte-de-Beaupré 34% 38.5% 23.1% 4.1% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Châteauguay 46.7% 29.4% 19.4% 4.6% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Chauveau 31.9% 14.3% 49.7% 3.9% CAQ CAQ PLQ CAQ PQ CAQ
Chicoutimi 28.9% 42.3% 22.0% 6.2% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Chomedey 64.9% 14.0% 15.0% 4.8% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Chutes-de-la-Chaudière 28.5% 14.5% 52.0% 5.0% CAQ CAQ PLQ CAQ PQ CAQ
Côte-du-Sud 44.1% 23.2% 28.0% 4.6% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Crémazie 34.8% 34.5% 14.4% 14.3% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
D’Arcy-McGee 90.6% 0.3% 4.1% 5.0% QS PLQ PLQ PLQ QS PLQ
Deux-Montagnes 27.6% 36.5% 30.0% 5.4% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Drummond-Bois-Francs 29.6% 28.7% 34.8% 5.7% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ CAQ
Dubuc 34.3% 40.0% 20.7% 5.0% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Duplessis 33.2% 51.4% 8.5% 5.7% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Fabre 45.9% 25.6% 23.6% 4.9% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Gaspé 32.9% 54.0% 7.7% 4.9% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Gatineau 53.7% 25.1% 15.6% 5.6% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Gouin 17.9% 28.2% 5.3% 48.5% QS QS QS PQ QS PLQ
Granby 24.4% 20.5% 48.2% 6.9% CAQ CAQ PLQ CAQ PQ CAQ
Groulx 29.2% 31.7% 32.8% 5.6% CAQ PQ CAQ CAQ PQ CAQ
Hochelaga-Maisonneuve 17.8% 41.6% 10.0% 26.9% PQ QS PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Hull 47.8% 30.1% 12.8% 9.2% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Huntingdon 48.9% 24.6% 21.5% 5.0% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Iberville 28.4% 36.7% 29.0% 5.4% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Îles-de-la-Madeleine 43.0% 48.0% 3.1% 5.9% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Jacques-Cartier 79.4% 1.0% 11.7% 3.9% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ QS PLQ
Jean-Lesage 37.9% 26.7% 23.9% 8.9% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Jean-Talon 44.3% 25.6% 20.5% 7.3% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Jeanne-Mance-Viger 71.1% 9.3% 11.8% 7.8% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Johnson 26.5% 33.7% 33.1% 5.9% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Joliette 23.0% 45.2% 24.8% 7.0% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Jonquière 26.8% 46.5% 22.3% 4.4% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
L’Assomption 20.8% 37.2% 37.0% 4.9% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
La Peltrie 35.2% 12.4% 48.7% 3.4% CAQ CAQ PLQ CAQ PQ CAQ
La Pinière 45.5% 20.5% 5.7% 28% IND N/C PLQ PLQ QS PLQ
La Prairie 36.4% 30.4% 28.5% 4.8% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Labelle 26.2% 48.2% 18.5% 7.1% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Lac-Saint-Jean 23.1% 50.8% 21.1% 5.0% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
LaFontaine 65.3% 12.7% 13.7% 7.1% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Laporte 45.2% 28.8% 18.7% 7.1% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Laurier-Dorion 40.5% 22.6% 7.1% 27.4% QS PLQ PLQ PLQ QS PLQ
Laval-des-Rapides 40.0% 35.9% 17.6% 5.5% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Laviolette 50.0% 28.3% 16.1% 5.1% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Lévis 36.6% 17.8% 38.6% 6.5% CAQ PLQ CAQ CAQ PQ CAQ
Lotbinière-Frontenac 47.5% 18.3% 28.8% 5.5% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Louis-Hébert 46.0% 19.5% 29.6% 4.5% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Marguerite-Bourgeoys 63.2% 17.1% 14.1% 5.4% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Marie-Victorin 25.7% 45.1% 17.2% 9.5% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Marquette 55.6% 18.8% 16.3% 6.5% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Maskinongé 39.6% 27.7% 26.9% 5.0% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Masson 20.3% 43.7% 31.0% 4.5% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Matane-Matapédia 24.0% 56.8% 14.3% 4.9% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Mégantic 41.3% 28.7% 23.0% 6.7% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Mercier 20.9% 19.7% 8.4% 50.1% QS QS QS PLQ QS PLQ
Mille-Îles 45.0% 29.2% 19.1% 6.0% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Mirabel 21.8% 41.3% 31.0% 5.1% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Mont-Royal 73.4% 6.4% 10.2% 8.2% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ QS PLQ
Montarville 33.1% 29.3% 31.4% 5.7% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Montmorency 41.1% 18.8% 35.3% 4.4% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Nelligan 72.4% 6.3% 15.2% CAQ PLQ PLQ N/C PQ PLQ
Nicolet-Bécancour 31.4% 30.7% 28.3% 6.2% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce 68.9% 5.6% 10.4% 9.8% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ QS PLQ
Orford 43.5% 28.1% 21.6% 6.8% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Outremont 48.5% 20.8% 10.9% 19.5% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Papineau 42.0% 32.4% 18.9% 6.5% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Pointe-aux-Trembles 21.7% 46.9% 21.8% 8.8% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Pontiac 65.0% 13.8% 14.8% 6.4% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Portneuf 41.6% 16.2% 37.9% 3.9% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
René-Lévesque 24.4% 56.9% 12.8% 5.0% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Repentigny 23.6% 37.9% 32.1% 5.4% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Richelieu 26.0% 40.3% 27.6% 4.4% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Richmond 41.6% 32.4% 19.0% 5.5% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Rimouski 27.9% 46.4% 15.7% 8.6% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Rivière-du-Loup-Témiscouata 46.8% 32.1% 17.0% 4.2% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Robert-Baldwin 81.2% 2.7% 9.7% 4.2% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ QS PLQ
Roberval 49.5% 36.5% 8.7% 5.2% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Rosemont 26.6% 39.9% 14.7% 17.4% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Rousseau 20.6% 39.3% 33.8% 6.3% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Rouyn-Noranda-Témiscamingue 33.5% 34.5% 20.7% 11.0% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Saint-François 42.3% 33.8% 15.4% 6.3% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne 44.9% 29.4% 12.2% 12.6% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Saint-Hyacinthe 32.0% 34.2% 27.2% 6.2% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Saint-Jean 28.0% 38.5% 27.7% 5.4% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Saint-Jérôme 21.6% 35.3% 34.6% 8.4% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Saint-Laurent 81.4% 9.8% 7.1% PQ PLQ N/C PLQ PQ PLQ
Saint-Maurice 34.4% 33.6% 25.4% 6.1% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques 25.6% 32.0% 12.2% 28.5% PQ QS PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Sainte-Rose 36.1% 32.3% 25.3% 5.6% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Sanguinet 28.3% 38.8% 28.2% 4.7% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Sherbrooke 41.2% 39.6% 9.1% 8.2% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Soulanges 56.4% 37.3% 6.3% PQ PLQ N/C PLQ PQ PLQ
Taillon 28.2% 38.3% 23.7% 8.8% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Taschereau 32.9% 35.2% 13.1% 12.6% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Terrebonne 22.5% 42.2% 30.8% 4.5% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Trois-Rivières 42.1% 29.6% 19.9% 6.4% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Ungava 40.9% 42.8% 7.9% 7.3% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Vachon 30.4% 37.6% 25.3% 6.3% PQ PLQ PQ PQ PQ PLQ
Vanier-Les Rivières 43.2% 16.9% 35.0% 4.1% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Vaudreuil 52.8% 18.2% 20.9% 6.1% CAQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Verchères 21.8% 45.1% 27.0% 5.3% PQ CAQ PQ PQ PQ CAQ
Verdun 42.1% 31.3% 15.8% 8.6% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Viau 53.2% 19.6% 9.7% 14.3% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Vimont 45.4% 28.2% 20.6% 5.3% PQ PLQ PLQ PLQ PQ PLQ
Westmount-Saint-Louis 82.3% 5.4% 8.6% QS PLQ N/C PLQ QS PLQ

* If you don’t consider CAQ a “non”-side party, replace the entire column with PLQ.

** Bertrand shows a tie between PLQ and CAQ. I’ve picked PLQ here, but take your pick.

Much of this was done by hand, so let me know if I’ve made an error somewhere. Or if you have your own chart with different data, let me know and I’ll link to it here.

16 thoughts on “Strategic voters’ guide to the Quebec 2014 election

  1. Dilbert

    ” it wouldn’t be the first time a desperate party threw up a bucket of hypocrisy at the end of a campaign.”

    It wouldn’t be the first time the PQ has done something incredibly stupid in this campaign either. They came in leading and potential will leave looking something like the Kim Campbell Conservative party. Pretty much eveyrthing in this campaign from the long tour through sovereignty on thru suddenly coming up with tax cuts that weren’t part of the platform because nobody asked… they have hit it out of the park at every turn.

    My personal hope is that the culturally and morally bankrupt PQ loses big, huge, and massively, in a manner that not only relegates them to third party status in the National Assembly, but in a manner that drives all the vicious, nasty old timers out of the party and kills the never ending threat of separation forever. It’s time to move on, if Marois is the best on offer, accept that you already lost.

    Reply
    1. Marc

      Very much so. The charter is all about creating a much bigger, more powerful government to exert greater control over the citizenry. It’s about what’s good for the collective and striking down power of the individual. It’s hardline, radical leftism at its finest.

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        The charter is all about creating a much bigger, more powerful government to exert greater control over the citizenry.

        I don’t see anything in the charter that would increase the size of government. It exerts control, clearly, but I’m not aware of any charter-specific civil service positions that will be created. And if there are, I don’t suspect there will be many.

        Reply
        1. JF Prieur

          They stated they would create an entire bureaucracy (a la OLF) to monitor the application of the charter. Many useless positions to be filled by PQ cronies I imagine…

          Reply
      2. JS

        Then how do you explain the fact that those on the left, such as Quebec Solidaire, oppose the charter? Sure, there are areas where the left wants to reduce the power of the individual for the greater good of society, but that’s not universally true. There are also plenty of cases where the left will oppose a right-wing proposal to limit individual freedom.

        Reply
  2. Michel

    Strategic voting requires a movement of votes from one candidate to another, not just a handfull and they all have to go in the same direction. The call for strategic voting is the equivalent of those people who call on an organized boycott of a certain oil company’s gas stations on a given day. It always seems like a good idea, people like the notion of sticking it to big oil but in the end it only has a minuscule (if any) impact. Looks good on paper but that’s about it.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Strategic voting requires a movement of votes from one candidate to another, not just a handfull and they all have to go in the same direction.

      Right. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I’d argue much of the vote for the Liberals and PQ will be people who wish they could vote for other parties.

      Reply
      1. Michel

        Wishing you could vote for another party and being part of a movement that is strong enough to make it happen are two different things. P.S. Congrats Steve on 2 mentions on les Zapettes !!

        Reply
  3. Nauss

    Hmm, I am wondering, if it’s a riding where it’s only a race between the two federalist parties (Vanier-Les Rivières) or between the two sovereigntist parties (e.g. Hochelaga-Maisonneuve), would it make sense to indicate something different than simply the leading federalist or sovereigntist party, respectively, in the Oui or Non column?

    Like, let’s say I like QS for whatever reason but I’m ultimately in it for the referendum. If I were living in a riding that was a race between the Liberals and the PQ, I would probably be compelled to vote for the PQ. If I live in Hochelaga, though, strategic voting specifically in favour of sovereignty doesn’t really make sense, because a sovereigntist party is going to win either way.

    I guess the metric I would propose is that if the two federalist parties, or the two sovereigntist parties, have COMBINED a total of 50% or more of the vote (this is somewhat arbitrary that I picked this number, it intuitively makes sense to me but maybe mathematically it could even be lower than that?), than that column should say something like DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Obviously, for those who don’t consider the CAQ to be federalist, this is more complicated, since on the Oui side, QS and the PQ are both unambiguously separatist.

    Haha, thanks again for this chart, all politics aside it’s rather fun to nerd about this.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      There are plenty of cases here where strategic voting probably won’t help. The Liberals aren’t going to lose D’Arcy McGee no matter who you vote for. If you’re fine with either of the two parties most likely to win a riding, then you don’t need to vote strategically.

      Reply
  4. R.

    Unfortunately, I live in the D’Arcy McGee riding, where a broom can run for the Liberal party and still win by a landslide. Never any excitement.

    Reply
  5. SMS

    The old established parties will never favour a proportional representation system so long as the current actual first past the post system benefits them. The biggest winner out of a PR system would be Quebec Solidaire.

    Reply
  6. Dilbert

    I am thinking people decided not to vote strategically, and just said “f–k it, vote liberal”. Effective.

    Reply
  7. françois landry

    Jamais je n’ai vu le parti Québécois envoyer de ses officiers pour se rapprocher d’option nationale.

    Simplement de petits “goons” injurieux.
    Quand tu es fier d’être indépendantiste, tu ne te cache pas derrière un moment opportun.

    Quand tu es fier d’être indépendantiste, tu ne te défile pas lorsqu’il est question de parler d’un pays.

    Le PQ s’est tiré dans le pied.
    Il est mieux d’apprendre de cette bataille perdue.

    Reply

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