Quebec, Canada — Much was made of newly-elected Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion’s reputation in Quebec. Having authored the Clarity Act which makes it harder for Quebec to separate from Canada, the former Environment Minister has enjoyed popularity in English Canada and criticism in Quebec.

However, an Angus Reid poll shows that Canada’s Liberal party is barely behind separatist Bloc Quebecois in the province. The Bloc leads Quebec with 37% of the vote, with the Liberals at a close second with 35%. It is notable to mention that in January’s federal election, the Bloc had received 42.1% of the vote.

The poll goes to show that Quebec’s separatist ambitions may be changing, as Dion’s election as head of the Liberal Party do not seem to have put a dent in the party’s popularity in Quebec. In fact, the poll can be seen as a success for the Liberals, as the scandal-laden party was far behind the Bloc in January.

The Angus Reid polling also follows a much-publicized Conservative motion passed in the House of Commons which recognized Quebec as a nation within a united Canada. At an announcement in Montreal on November 24, Conservative leader Stephen Harper said the Bloc’s raison d’être was defeated with the motion, because the Bloc had for years demanded the recognition of Quebec’s unique status within Canada.