Danny Dumaresque has some data.

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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.

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  • Falls rat musk
    June 16, 2013 - 15:43

    What would the people of the province say if Dumaresque offered up this Muskratfalls deal. Would it still be such a great deal then?

  • Cyril Rogers
    June 09, 2013 - 11:25

    JM and Mr. McLeod....I respectfully submit that we can get out of this deal, but in all likelhood will not, given the people at the helm. We have committed to billions of dollars in spending but, we will be merely throwing good money after bad if we continue to try and build this. My take on this is that we would probably "lose" about 2 - 3 billion dollars in total if we scrapped the deal now....and as bad as that sounds....it would still be better than proceeding with a project whose real cost are going to keep on escalating into a final amount that will be well over 10 billion dollars. It is absolutely shameful, on the part of our government and NALCOR, that we have been placed in such an untenable position, but better to lose the upfront dollars than indebt ourselves for additional untold billions. As for JM's assertion that we should have phased it in, I totally disagree. There may have been a time when long-distance hydro projects made sense....not any more. Alternative energies will eventually make such hydro technologies obsolete and, ironically, we will be left with hydro capacity that nobody else will want.

  • JM
    June 08, 2013 - 16:59

    James the roller coaster ride is a great analogy. This all or nothing commitment was and is the greatest risk associated with the muskrat falls project. During the pub process I advocated a phased approach to the project. Building the link to Labrador now, but waiting until demand increased (or export markets improved) until the plant was built. This would have reduced the exposure by 50%. There was no business case or need to do what Martin and Nalcor have committed the people of this province to. Now 16 months later the UARB outcome is far from certain, project costs have escalated, and the US market remains soft. Now this week Martin foolishly tells the people of Nova Scotia that we may still build the link to Nova Scotia even without the UARB approval. The people of Nova Scotia are astute enough to realize that this would be a best case scenario, as the requirements of the National Energy Board export permit would require that NS gets first access to the power before it can be sold in the US. this project could be in real trouble... But you are right we can't get off.