Éric Duhaime said his Conservative Party of Quebec is making a final pitch to anglophones to abandon the Liberals and vote for his party during the Quebec election.
Speaking on CJAD 800 Thursday morning, Duhaime told radio host Elias Makos that non-francophones are joining his movement and he hopes to be able to pick up seats on the island of Montreal.
Sign up to receive daily headline news from the Montreal Gazette, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
Thanks for signing up!
A welcome email is on its way. If you don't see it, please check your junk folder.
The next issue of Montreal Gazette Headline News will soon be in your inbox.
“A lot of non-francophones are getting in and I’m happy about that,” Duhaime said. “We’ll be in the west end of Montreal on Saturday, in the Jacques-Cartier riding, and I will make a bilingual speech. I want to make a final pitch to the anglophone community. I don’t think anglophones have any interest in being part of a very small party (the Liberals) that only represents a tiny constituency.”
Duhaime said the Liberals risk becoming a marginalized party after this election, as they are polling very poorly among francophone voters.
Recent polls, however, place the Liberals in second, and the polling aggregate site Qc125.com predicts the party will form the official opposition.
Duhaime, whose popularity began when he came out as opposed to COVID-19 restrictions, added that his party represents a growing movement of people who are frustrated with the government and want to elect a party that will push to protect individual freedoms.
“I’m not radical at all,” he said. “My leaning is toward individual freedoms and libertarianism. I want to make sure we keep our faith in our political institutions in Quebec.”
However, he said he’s concerned about the way the support of his party appears to be spread out. While polling in a statistical dead heat for second place among voting intentions, his party is predicted to win between zero and four seats on Monday night.
If his party fails to win a seat with nearly 20 per cent support province-wide, Duhaime fears there will be political malaise among a large swath of the population.
“We can’t leave one person of five or six outside of Parliament,” he said. “We need our voices to be heard within Parliament. Our voice needs to be heard.”
Duhaime started the day in friendly territory, with an hour-long interview on Radio X. The former radio host then joined supporters for a jog on the Plains of Abraham.
Quebec should target Aboriginal reserves in fighting illegal guns trade: Duhaime
Duhaime flirting with official party status amid 'distortion of the vote'