A changing of the guard appears to be on the horizon in Quebec.
With less than three weeks to go before the Oct. 1 election, an upstart alliance that’s pledging to reduce immigration is favored to oust the Liberal Party that’s governed the French-speaking Canadian province for all but two of the past 15 years.
Coalition Avenir Quebec, the eight-year-old party led by former airline executive and education minister Francois Legault, is leading in the polls — though recent surveys show it may lack the support required to win a majority.
The CAQ, which is also pledging to make government more efficient, has the support of 35 percent of voters compared to 29 percent for Philippe Couillard’s Liberals, according to weighted polling averages compiled by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Ominously for the incumbent premier, 62 percent of voters surveyed by polling company Leger this month said they were dissatisfied with Couillard’s government.
In power since April 2014, the Liberals are playing up their track record of running budget surpluses and helping to lower the unemployment rate to four-decade lows amid continued economic expansion. For many Quebeckers, however, the Couillard administration has become synonymous with corruption allegations and cutbacks in education, healthcare and other government services