MONTREAL – Quebecers are turning out to vote today in what has been called one of the nastiest provincial elections in decades.
Mud-slinging over ethics and a focus on whether or not another sovereignty referendum would be held dominated the 33-day campaign.
Pauline Marois, whose Parti Quebecois formed a minority government in the 2012 election, is seeking a majority and has expressed optimism the PQ will form a government.
Recent opinion polls, however, indicate the momentum is with Philippe Couillard’s Liberals and give them a shot at taking power when the votes are counted.
The PQ had hoped to capitalize on identity politics as they did in 2012 by making their secular charter the focus of the campaign.
But that plan was derailed when star candidate Pierre Karl Peladeau announced he had left the business world for politics so he could build an independent Quebec for his children.
Liberals exploited the distaste for a third sovereignty referendum at the PQ’s expense.
One leader who had cause for some glee is Coalition party chief Francois Legault.
Although the Coalition had been badly slipping in opinion polls, Legault has seen a rebound after his strong performances in televised leaders’ debates.