Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who won the debate?

Here is the result of a CROP-La Presse poll on who won the debate. Marois 38%, Dumont 34% and Charest 30%... Well I was totally wrong since I had declared Charest the winner. We will see how this play out in the "real" polls in the next few days. But I still do not think that this debate, even if it was won by Marois, will turn things around because Marois did not win a decisive victory.

Update: Something to keep in mind before you take the results of this poll seriously. According to the article, 34% intended to vote for the PQ if elections were held today, 33% for the PLQ and 14% for the ADQ, which looks good for Marois at first look. But according to the pollster, all parties won just one percent after the debate compared to how people intended to vote for before, which would put the PQ at 33%, the PLQ at 32% and the ADQ at 13%. In other words, the pollster selected a biased sample since its latest poll, released on Nov. 24th puts PLQ at 45%, PQ at 32% and ADQ at 12%. Why would that be? Maybe because there were 94% french speakers in the sample whereas the real percentage is 79% of the population. In CROP latest poll, PQ won over PLQ 39-36% over french speakers.

So I think overall you should be wary in how to interpret this debate poll. It does not mean Charest lost or that Marois looked better. It means that he "lost" and that Marois looked better among french speakers. Keeping in mind that Charest was losing by 3 points among french speakers but winning by 13% overall should help you put things in perspective. If the poll had reflected the real demographics of Québec we'd be able to get a better picture, but I guess it is harder to get English speakers to answer this poll since they are less likely to have watched the debate.

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