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Gilles Duceppe

Gilles Duceppe in a fight for even his own riding

Gilles Duceppe 41%

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On the eve of a vote that could demonstrate a significant shift in Quebec politics, Gilles Duceppe wasn’t ready to explain the collapse in popular support for his party, one that has him in a tough fight to keep his own seat.

He simply allowed that he has known difficult campaigns before — this is his seventh — but this one, he said, is “different” because “the alignment of forces is different than what we have seen in the past.”

Speaking at his campaign office at the edge of Montreal’s gay village Sunday morning, the Bloc Québécois leader told his volunteers that they need to work “up to the last minute to get out the vote.”

But everyone in the room was keenly aware of Duceppe’s campaign woes. In fewer than three short weeks, the Bloc’s score in poll after poll has fallen sharply while the NDP has seen an astonishing rise.

Pollsters thought it impossible the Bloc’s core support could drop below 30 per cent — about the number of committed sovereignists who hardly ever change course. But indeed, the latest polls have placed the Bloc at about 26 or 27 per cent.

The NDP, meanwhile, stands at about 40 per cent.

The NDP could steal seats away from not only the Bloc, but also the Conservatives in the Quebec City region and from the Liberals around Montreal.

The wave is so profound that even Duceppe is in a fight for his own riding of Laurier&mdashSainte-Marie, near Montreal’s downtown.




by Andrew Chung

Source: thestar.com

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