Quebec premier set to call election for Sept 4-French CBC
* Quebec elections always get into issue of separation
* Provincial election expected for Sept. 4
* Pollsters say difficult for separatists to win majority
OTTAWA, July 31 (Reuters) - Quebec Premier Jean Charest intends to call a provincial election on Wednesday, with voters going to the polls on Sept. 4, the French arm of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, Radio Canada, said on Tuesday.
The election will pit Charest's Liberals mainly against the Parti Quebecois, which is running neck-and-neck in public support and which seeks independence for the French-speaking Canadian province.
But the current poll numbers show it would be difficult for the Parti Quebecois to get a majority of seats, which it would need if it wanted to launch another referendum on separation.
The separatists lost referendums on independence in 1980 and 1995, the latter by just a whisker.
The pro-Canada Liberals have been in power since 2003, and won a majority government in 2008. But they have lost support over the last two years amid allegations of corruption and kickbacks in the influential construction industry.
Radio Canada said Charest had contacted Lieutenant Governor Pierre Duchesne to be sure he would be in his office on Wednesday to dissolve the provincial legislature and open the election campaign.
- Atheists face death in 13 countries, global discrimination: study
- Missouri executes man for killing good Samaritan motorist in 1994
- Focus turns to Thai military, anti-government protesters tell them to pick sides
- Google executives' planes saved millions in costs due to error - NASA
- Apple scores legal victory over Samsung in South Korea