In one of the top stories from early in the election, incumbent NDP MP Pierre Nantel announced his departure from the NDP in favour of running for the Green Party. With the NDP running in a distant fourth place in Quebec, it was unlikely that Nantel would be re-elected under the NDP banner.
Early on in this election, there would appear to be little path to victory for Nantel, who is polling at a distant fourth at 14% – less than half of the 31% support he amassed in 2015 en route to an election victory. Former Provincial Minister and current Liberal candidate Réjean Hébert is polling at 33%, comfortably ahead of his primary rival Denis Trudel of the Bloc Québécois. Should Hébert take the riding, it will be the first time the Liberal Party has taken the seat since 1984.
This is according to data run at the end of the first week of the campaign by H+K’s partner Advanced Symbolics Inc.’s (ASI) – Canada’s only Artificial Intelligence (AI) pollster.
Dominant issues that voters are engaged about in the riding are unemployment and jobs, taxes, indigenous issues, immigration and refugees, and healthcare. Interestingly, the people of Longueuil–Saint Hubert over-sample the national averages for engagement on immigration and refugees, relations with China, and the economy.
If these trends hold, the issues that matter in the riding – increased engagement on immigration and refugees, and improving relations with China – should be of concern to the Liberals. For Hébert to be successful, it will be critical that he steer discussion away from those areas of concern for the Liberals and toward areas of success for the Liberals, such as their economic record and increased tax cuts for those earning less than $147,000 per year.
Methodology. Historical data is collected by ASI from the Canadian Census. Predictive data is from “Polly” an AI that predicts voter intentions based on publicly available social media data. Social media data is gathered from ASI’s online representative sample of over 270,000 Canadians selected using ASI’s patented CIC algorithm.