As the Telegram has already reported, Danny Dumaresque has been doing some polling about his leadership chances within the Liberal Party. (He’s got until July 5th to decide whether his chances are good enough to be worth paying the $20,000 entry fee, and getting into the race.) From what I can tell, he’s keeping those cards pretty close to his chest, so you can draw your own assumptions from that.
However, when he turned up at the Nalcor annual general meeting this week, he was quoting numbers from that poll saying that support for the Muskrat Falls project has dropped.
He sent me the raw data from that page of the poll, so here it is folks. On Twitter, Dumaresque said the poll has a sample size of 1,047. It was done the week of May 20, and it has a margin of error of 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The headline data is 46 per cent of respondents are in favour of the project, 32 per cent are opposed and 21 per cent are undecided. (Click the link to check out the full sheet, and sift through the regional and demographic breakdowns for yourself.)
That does seem to be a shift from polling numbers by Corporate Research Associates conducted between Feb. 11 and March 8. At that time CRA reported that 63 per cent of respondents support the project, compared to 27 per cent opposed and 10 per cent who are undecided or did not offer an opinion. That poll was a bit smaller — 400 respondents — and had a 4.9 percentage point margin of error.
I don’t know who the nearly 20 per cent of Newfoundlanders who’ve stopped supporting the project in the last couple months, but somebody should tell them that since the project was sanctioned last December, Nalcor has already committed literally billions of dollars — either through direct spending or contracts that we can’t easily get out of.
I suppose I can understand having some misgivings after the roller-coaster goes over that first big hurdle, and you start plunging down the track. But at this point, I assure you, we’re effectively past the point of no return.