Canadian polls show separatist vote plunging
Wednesday 21 May 1997
What had been a plodding campaign leading to a vote on 2 June has suddenly caught fire following televised leaders' debates in English and French and the release of several polls which suggest that a fundamental realignment is under way in Quebec.
The surprise beneficiary is Conservative Party Leader Jean Charest, who has laboured for the past three-and-a-half years in the House of Commons with one other Member of Parliament in his caucus, too few to be recognized as an official party.
After a commanding performance in television debates and a series of stumbles by Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe, it appears that many who want Quebec to have a more independent status within Canada have decided that Mr Charest best represents their aspirations.
This group, which had supported the Conservatives in the past, voted massively in the 1993 election for the Bloc Quebecois because they wanted a bargaining chip to extract a distinct status for Quebec within the federation.
Until midway through the current election campaign, it appeared the Bloc Quebecois was about to pull off a repeat of the 1993 results in Quebec, despite the lacklustre performance of Mr Duceppe. But when weekend polls showed support for the Bloc Quebecois to be in free fall, the Quebec premier decided to become involved.
As he said in his first public appearance on Monday eve- ning, he needs a strong Bloc in Ottawa to keep the federal government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien off balance.
A dramatic reversal for the Bloc would make it seem that the Quebec sovereignty movement was losing momentum and that could have implications for the next referendum on independence, which Mr Bouchard is planning to hold next year.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
£100 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: IT teacher required immediately...
£60000 - £70000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Assistant - Windows XP/7/8, Netwo...
£100 - £140 per day + Flexible with benefits: Randstad Education Group: Key St...