The prospect of a referendum on Quebec’s sovereignty is emerging as a defining issue in the lead-up to election day, according to a new CTV News/Ipsos Reid poll.

The poll found that 24 per cent of Quebecers who said they’re casting a ballot on April 7 have based their decision on the perceived chance of another referendum.

The issue of sovereignty in Quebec has dominated the month-long campaign, as the Parti Quebecois, led by Pauline Marois, attempts to retain power.

Marois has tried to shift her campaign’s focus away from sovereignty matters, but it appears to remain top of mind for many voters in Quebec.

According to the poll, 18 per cent of Quebecers surveyed said they are primarily casting ballots to stop a referendum by the PQ.

A mere 6 per cent are motivated to vote for the PQ to support the idea of a referendum.

Thirty-nine per cent of Quebec Liberal voters say they’re voting for that party primarily to stop a referendum, compared to 19 per cent who are voting PQ to support a potential referendum.

Other top factors for Quebecers include the economy and jobs, the values charter, and matters of integrity.

Top issue by party

The poll also found that voters for each party appear to be motivated by significantly different issues:

  • Liberal: Stopping a potential referendum (39 per cent)
  • Parti Quebecois: Supporting the values charter (24 per cent)
  • Coalition Avenir Quebec: Lower taxes (21 per cent)
  • Quebec Solidaire: Another issue (20 per cent)

A possible referendum

The poll results found that despite best efforts, Marois has been unable to convince Quebecers that the PQ is not pursuing a referendum. Fifty-four per cent of Quebecers agree that a “majority PQ government would hold a referendum in its mandate no matter what,” compared with 46 per cent who disagree.

Nearly two in three (63 per cent) agree that a vote for the PQ is a vote for another referendum, including 26 per cent of PQ supporters and 94 per cent of Liberal voters.


The parties with the most support performed the worst on integrity rankings among Quebecers.

According to the poll, the Quebec Liberals were ranked dead last by 38 per cent of poll respondents for integrity, while 34 per cent rated the PQ in last place.

Quebec Solidaire, led by Francoise David, received the highest integrity ranking (59 per cent) while the CAQ, led by Francois Legault, also did reasonably well, with 45 per cent saying that party has the most integrity.

The poll was conducted between March 28 and April and surveyed 1,012 Quebecers. It is accurate within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

A separate CTV poll showed the Quebec Liberals have a lead over the PQ with just days left before the election. Liberal support sits at 37 per cent, while support for the PQ is at 28 per cent.