Once the 1995 referendum was in the rear-view mirror, however, the Bloc recognized that it would need to stand for more than sovereignty alone. And so it developed a strategy of running hard against the government of the day (which was always its strongest Quebec opponent) and serving as an opposition on behalf of Quebec alone.It's true enough that Duceppe at least figures to offer a more credible face for the Bloc than any alternative during an election campaign - which figures to improve the party's chances of surviving to fight another day.
That strategy was highly effective at stoking frustration against sitting governments. But in the last few election cycles, it proved somewhat vulnerable when competing opposition parties entered the picture: in 2006 the Cons did better than anticipated as the Bloc hammered away at Lib scandals, and in 2008 the Libs managed to gain ground as the Bloc launched its culture war against Stephen Harper.
In effect, the Bloc has always succeeded by overwhelming a single national opponent which bears the burden of government in a one-province, one-front battle. But there's no way they're avoiding a multi-front challenge in 2015 - and starting from a tenth of their former caucus size and a dwindling membership will only make that challenge all the more difficult.
And it may be that the Bloc can completely revamp its previous strategy to counter a popular opposition party which can both launch effective critiques against the sitting government, and offer an alternative. But I don't see much having changed since 2012 to suggest that the Bloc will ever again be the broad-based opposition party it was for nearly two decades - and if the strongest leader still in the Bloc ranks can't gain back some ground this year, the party's end may well be nigh.