The leaders of the province’s three political parties prepare for a televised debate Wednesday evening. From left are Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward, NTV cameraman Dan Lake placing a microphone on PC Leader Kathy Dunderdale and NDP Leader Lorraine Michael. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
The gap between the New Democrats and the Liberals is widening after Week 2 of the provincial election campaign, according to a poll released today.
The MQO Research poll shows the governing Progressive Conservatives maintaining their lead at 54 per cent of decided voters.
However, support for the New Democrats has risen to 33 per cent and support for the Liberals has fallen to 13 per cent.
A poll released by the company on Sept. 20 had Progressive Conservatives at 53 per cent of decided voters, the NDP at 29 per cent and the Liberals at 18 per cent.
In the poll released today, 18 per cent of the Newfoundlanders and Labradorians surveyed said they were undecided on which party they would vote for.
Thirty-four per cent of those polled said they watched the televised leaders’ debate on Wednesday. Of those who watched the debate, 36 per cent felt PC Leader Kathy Dunderdale won, while 22 per cent saw NDP Leader Lorraine Michael as the winner, and six per cent said Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward came out on top.
The remainder of respondents said there was no clear winner.
Most polled named Dunderdale as the best premier.
Among decided voters, the PC leader continues to hold strong support with 62 per cent, far ahead of NDP Leader Michael who came in at 27 per cent support this time around. Aylward held the confidence of 11 per cent of decided voters.
Fifty-two per cent of the Newfoundland and Labrador population polled rated their satisfaction with the current PC government as seven or higher on a scale of one-to-10.
The poll also covered important issues in the upcoming election.
Respondents named health care as most important at 36 per cent, electric power issues (Muskrat Falls/Churchill Falls) second at 15 per cent, followed by education at six per cent.
Reducing provincial debt, the economy, and employment came in lower on the list of pressing issues.
The poll was based on a sample of 464 residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 per cent.
The research was conducted via phone and online between Sept. 28 and Sept. 30, 2011.
For reaction, see The Weekend Telegram.