Is there much life for Justin Trudeau's federal Liberals in francophone Quebec in the absence of a unity debate? Not necessarily, according to the first Quebec-only poll released since the April 7 election.
The CROP poll suggests that the return to power of the provincial Liberals has left their federal cousins with little wind in their sails.
With all federalist indicators flashing green; with support for sovereignty standing at less than 30 per cent, the NDP is riding high among francophone voters (38 per cent) while Trudeau's Liberals (24 per cent) are being pushed back to the sidelines.
With numbers like that, Trudeau would hold his existing seats on the island of Montreal, where he enjoys the strong support of anglophone and allophone voters, but the party would remain shut out of the bulk of the province. In the absence of gains in Quebec the Liberal leader could face long odds on winning enough seats to form a government in next year's federal election.
There is little new to what plagues Trudeau's party in Quebec.
For almost four decades the party has done best when the PQ was solidly in the saddle provincially and poorly in more federalist circumstances.
Over the past few years, that trend has been compounded by the 2011 NDP sweep, the party's choice of Mulcair as leader and, more recently, by the PQ's rout.
Philippe Couillard's victory has killed the 2015 scenario of a federalist call to arms under the flag of the federal party that successfully fought the two Quebec referendums and that set out rules for a future vote on the province's future in the Clarity Act.
It is a rare couple that looks for marriage counselling on the heels of renewing its wedding day vows.
The native son card is also out of the mix. There will be two other Quebec-based leaders (including the soon-to-be-chosen successor to BQ Leader Daniel Paille) on the federal ballot next year.
Based on his years of service at the provincial level, Mulcair can boast as high a profile as Trudeau in Quebec.
According to CROP, a plurality of Quebecers believes he would make a better prime minister than his rivals.
As the newest kid on the Quebec block, the NDP does not have much of a party infrastructure to support it. Until 2011 it barely had any boots on the ground in most of the province.
But then neither does Trudeau. The federal Liberal machine in Quebec has long fallen into disrepair.
On that score, only in some parts of the Prairies is the party possibly in worse shape than in Quebec.
Moreover, no one expects Couillard to break with the tradition of leaving his provincial Liberals free to choose which federal candidates to work with (as long as they are running under a federalist banner).
Over nine federal elections since 1980 the Liberals have successively lost the Quebec seat battle to the Tories, the Bloc and, lately, the NDP.
If the talking points used by Trudeau in last fall's Bourassa byelection are any indication they have yet to find an effective angle to attack a Quebec federal rival that is both progressive and federalist.
Whoever came up with the Liberal leader's lines at the time must live on a diet of red Kool-Aid.
Trudeau's suggestion that the New Democrats were fly-by-night MPs was glaringly out of sync with the popular perception that the Quebec rookies who make up Mulcair's caucus have, for the most part, been disciplined and hardworking.
Some Liberal strategists believe that in 2015 Quebecers - in their collective desire to see Stephen Harper's Conservatives out of government - will jump on a Liberal bandwagon propelled by voters in the rest of Canada.
But the reverse is just as plausible, with the party's tepid appeal to francophone Quebecers - if it is not addressed - driving down Liberal support elsewhere.
Up to a point, Trudeau's Quebec Liberals suffer from the same ailment that recently brought the PQ down.
They have spent so many years talking to a shrinking constituency of like-minded partisans that they cannot figure out how to connect with a Quebec majority that has grown comfortable with a Canada that is not Liberal-run.
Chantal Hébert is a national affairs writer.