Quebec separatists take lead, promise to fight foreign takeovers
Aug 10 (Reuters) - A Quebec separatist party that is promising to fight foreign takeovers of firms based in the Canadian province is in the lead ahead of elections on Sept. 4, two new polls showed on Friday.
The Parti Quebecois, which wants Quebec to break away from the rest of Canada, says it will do more to combat takeover bids such the attempt by U.S. home-improvement retailer Lowe's Cos Inc to buy Rona Inc if it wins power.
Lowe's has not put in a formal bid for Quebec-based Rona, but Rona said last month that it had rejected a C$1.8 billion ($1.8 billion) proposal.
A CROP poll for La Presse put support for the Parti Quebecois at 32 percent, compared with 29 percent for the governing Liberals. The new, untested and right-leaning Coalition for the Future of Quebec (CAQ) was at 21 percent.
CROP said those figures meant a majority government could be within reach for the Parti Quebecois. If the party does win a majority of seats in the provincial legislature it could introduce a referendum on independence, which would be needed before Quebec could split from Canada.
A Leger poll for Le Devoir put support for the Parti Quebecois at 32 percent, the Liberals at 31 percent and the CAQ on 27 percent, suggesting the final result is too close to call.
The CROP telephone poll of 1,061 adults was conducted between Aug 4 and 8 and is considered accurate to within 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The Leger internet poll of 1,589 adults was carried out between Aug 6 and 8 and is considered accurate to within 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The Parti Quebecois outlined its proposals on foreign takeovers and on a bigger pro-Quebec role for the provincial pension plan, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, after the two opinion polls were conducted.
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