Separatists eye return to power in Quebec

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Voters in Quebec headed to the polls yesterday in an election that may see a separatist party return to power, potentially placing the French-speaking province on course for another referendum to break away from Canada.

Jean Charest, the Liberal who has led Quebec for nearly a decade, called an early election on 1 August, and has consistently trailed in the polls to Pauline Marois' Parti Quebecois.

A recent poll showed support for independence under 30 per cent but analysts say voters are weary of the Liberals after three terms in office.