The day after the publication of a catastrophic poll for himself and his training, the leader of the Parti Québécois asked his militants to remain courageous and fight, without apologizing, for independence.

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At the dawn of the fall electoral battle, Chief Paul St-Pierre Plamondon tried to motivate his troops by delivering a speech focused solely on independence during the National Council of his formation, in Boucherville, this Saturday.

He asked members to “not be afraid” to fight for independence, convinced that they are “on the right side of history.”

“We don’t back down, we don’t deviate, we don’t apologize, we don’t change our minds and we go to fight,” said the leader to thunderous applause.

His formation must courageously “assume” his convictions, he says.

During his speech, the PQ leader also attacked the “defensive nationalism” of the CAQ government with the federal government. According to him, it is “willful blindness.”

The leader mentions that all the requests of Prime Minister François Legault have ended in failure against Ottawa and Justin Trudeau, as in matters of immigration.

The one and only solution to settle the successive refusals of Ottawa to the demands of Quebec is independence, he hammered on several occasions.

“It’s easier to close your eyes than to say things as they are. The truth is that French is receding, our Quebec culture is receding, our democracy is receding. Our ability to make our own choices on our territory is declining,” pleaded the leader, ridiculing the political methods of François Legault in passing.

“With the assumption that he gets a few more deputies in the next election. What will the game plan be, the balance of power? Is it going to be asking to vote Conservative again? Are we going to have a François Legault who invites us to vote [Pierre] Polièvre? Or even better, vote Jean Charest.”

Far behind

However, the enthusiasm of the many activists present at the National Council does not seem to be reflected in public opinion. The most recent Léger poll published Friday in the pages of the Journal placed the PQ dead last with only 8% of voting intentions nationally.

The result for the leader is even more dire, with only 2% of the population believing he would make the best prime minister.

Conversely, the CAQ government and the Prime Minister are at the top of this Léger poll.

According to parliamentary leader Joël Arseneau, his leader’s popularity is low due to the pandemic, adding that he is still the man for the job.

“I have full confidence in the chef, it is on his convictions that we will judge his performance,” he said during a press scrum. “Obviously, Quebecers don’t know him very well. He was elected in the midst of a pandemic. There will be debates, tours, there will be the Parti Québécois bus. People will get to know him, appreciate him and understand the depth of his beliefs. The only thing that is certain with the polls is that they will change.