In-depth poll points to PC win

Barb Sweet
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Poll results

The Progressive Conservatives are headed for a solid majority government and the Liberals and NDP are fighting it out for second place, according to a poll by Corporate Research Associates (CRA) conducted exclusively for The Telegram.

The Telegram will roll out results of the wide-ranging poll — which has a large sample size of 800 — in the coming days.

The poll was conducted between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 per cent.

The PCs are leading the race with 44 per cent support among poll respondents, followed by the NDP with 18 per cent and the Liberals at 12 per cent.

Three per cent said they did not plan to vote, two per cent refused to say and 22 per cent indicated they are undecided.

CRA president and CEO Don Mills said PC Leader Kathy Dunderdale seems to be doing well to maintain a high level of support and keep her party in top position after Danny Williams’ exodus.

He said Dunderdale has the strongest support of any leader in the Atlantic  provinces.

“They are really good numbers — not as good as Danny Williams,” Mills said.

“He’s a hard act to follow, obviously.”

In the Telegram poll, 55 per cent of respondents chose Dunderdale as the leader they would most prefer as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, followed by NDP Leader Lorraine Michael at 19 per cent and Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward in last place with 11 per cent.

Dunderdale is up five per cent over August and four per cent over May. Michael is up two per cent over August and five per cent over May.

Aylward is down five per cent over August, when he became the new leader after Yvonne Jones stepped down due to health concerns. Jones polled 16 per cent in May.

Though the NDP — boosted perhaps by a strong federal showing — are polling ahead of the Liberals,  Mills cautioned that the NDP support is concentrated on the Avalon and the party’s ability to pick up a lot of seats is confined.

Asked which party would be their second choice, 45 per cent of poll respondents said the NDP, while 18 per cent favoured the Liberals. The PCs polled 15 per cent as a second-place party.

Mills expects, based on poll results, that the NDP will wind up in second place in terms of popular vote, but may not form the official Opposition.

“They are clearly tracking as the second-choice party,” Mills said, adding  the NDP has risen dramatically in the polls since the last election.

He noted a lot of people are indicating support for the NDP for the first time and could waver when they actually go to the polling booth.

It’s no great revelation that the PCs are likely to form the government. But whatever the results are on Tuesday, the political landscape can be influenced by what the other parties do in the next five years to advance themselves.

Mills said the recent passing of federal NDP leader Jack Layton has a lot of people focusing on the NDP.

“They have an opportunity to establish deep roots in the province,” Mills said of the party.

He said Aylward had a tough situation coming in at the last minute to lead a party in disarray, and the Liberals provincially may have been dragged down by the party’s federal election results.

“As a brand they are a little bit tarnished,” Mills said.

He said even if they have more seats than the NDP come Tuesday, the Liberals will still feel like the third party and will be in rebuilding mode, which is something the Tories went through after the Liberals seized power for years in the post-Brian Peckford era.

Memorial University political scientist Amanda Bittner said the Telegram poll confirms earlier polls that have been released over the course of the election campaign.

(One local firm, MQO, was slammed by Aylward as being biased in favour of the Tories.)

“Voters don’t appear to be overly fond of Kevin Aylward or the Liberal Party. In fact, support for both Aylward and his party has dropped since the beginning of the election,” Bittner said.

“This may reflect the performance of the three leaders in the debate, or it may be a result of the platforms that each of the parties have advanced — it’s hard to tell based solely on these numbers.”

As for the preferred leader, Bittner noted Dunderdale’s support has remained fairly steady over time while Michael has seen hers grow.

“In fact, the steady increase in support for Lorraine Michael and the NDP appears to be the story of the election,” Bittner said.

Like Mills, Bittner said the important thing to note is whether the NDP support will translate into a share of seats in the House of Assembly.

“All parties will need to mobilize their supporters on election day. Nothing is in the bag yet,” she said.

The NDP is weakest in the west (for polling purposes, that region includes the west coast, central Newfoundland, and Labrador) — 10 per cent of the respondents who live in that region compared to 24 per cent of respondents who live in St. John’s/Avalon and 18 per cent in the east (which includes the east and northeast coast).

The uneven support for the NDP geographically may  reflect on the party’s level of  organization outside the Avalon.

However, the Liberals are showing their weakest support in St. John’s/Avalon, at seven per cent of respondents who live there. (Thirteen per cent of respondents who live in the east say they will vote Liberal, while 18 per cent of respondents who live in the west support the Grits.

The PCs are showing strong results across all regions with a slight dip in the west (37 per cent of respondents living there support them) compared to 49 per cent in the east and 46 per cent in the St. John’s/Avalon region.

Among decided voters across all regions, 59 per cent of them said they would vote PC,  25 per cent NDP and 16 per cent Liberal.

Among the undecideds or those who refused to state their preference, 26 per cent are leaning towards the PCs, while 21 per cent are leaning towards the NDP and 14 towards the Liberals.

Some 38 per cent said they don’t know.

Organizations: NDP, Progressive Conservatives, Corporate Research Associates Post-Brian Peckford era.Memorial University Liberal Party Grits.The PCs

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Atlantic, May.Though

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Georgina benoit
    October 06, 2011 - 22:45

    My take on things is that Kevin Aylward has done great it is Yvonne who should be blamed for the hard position of the liberals. She stepped down too late.

  • William Daniels
    October 06, 2011 - 22:07

    We are going to be the laughing stock of Canada. We voted to double our own power bills.

  • Joseph McGrath
    October 06, 2011 - 20:12

    No big suprise here but I do hope we get a good size opposition to chase every program movement and fiscal expenditure by the government.No doubt there first moves will be to raise all members salaries and increase committee etc. allowance pay.Then defeated candidates and party hacks got to be given high paying jobs.Watch the money spigits of the government open and flow freely within a week after the election.Just keep an eye on defeated candidates to see how they are rewarded.I strongly suggest that if plum appointments are made the new opposition should shout it from the roof tops and indeed check on the legal question of such activities if they start.Keep your eyes on the MONEY folks..

  • Herb Morrison
    October 06, 2011 - 16:58

    In my sixty plus years on this planet I have seen a number of election campaigns unfold and pass into history. The present Provincial campaign will be most notable for two reasons. Firstly, barring anything catastrophic occurring between now and Election Day; the outcome of the ongoing Provincial contest (perhaps no-contest would be a more appropriate description) is a foregone conclusion. The Progressive Conservatives under Kathy Dunderdale will be returned to power. The overwhelming majority which the P. C.’ s held at the dissolution of the House of Assembly would have been sufficient to assure the P.C Party another four years with the reigns of power in their fat little collective fist. (Well, have you ever seen a skinny political of any political stripe?) I digress. Secondly, within the space of one single week, the Liberals, already relegated to political near-obscurity, have managed to self-destruct. While it is true that there was no clear winner in the televised leaders’ debate, there Kevin Alyward definitely came out on the losing end. Particularly notable was Mr. Alyward’s inability to explain just how he was going to institute certain policies. When you are the leader of a political party seeking to form a government to respond “oh we have a plan, but we’re not telling anyone what that plan is,” is no way to gain the confidence (not to mention the support) of the electorate. As if the Liberal ship were not placed in enough peril as a result of Mr. Alyward’s less than stellar showing in the afore -mentioned leaders’ debate, Danny Dumeresque’s divisive comments pitting the City of St. John’s against outport communities enabled Mr. Dumeresque to almost single-handedly send the good ship Liberal to the bottom of the heap on election night. Makes you wonder how much control Mr. Alyward is exercising over his crew. Looks like we can look forward to four more years of P. C. Government with the N.D. P. as the official opposition. Meanwhile, I suspect that the Liberals will be found somewhere in the political wilderness attempting, in vain, to find their collective backside with both hands.

  • ranter
    October 06, 2011 - 16:40

    a vote for PC/Dunderdale is a vote for Steve Harper. On Oct 11th remember who shook his hand when you vote!

  • Ed
    October 06, 2011 - 15:04

    While I have not made a final decision who I will vote for I have decided who I will not vote for - the Liberals. I just cannot see them forming a government capable of doing a good job of running this province - Aylward and Dumeresque have said or done nothing to give me a more positive feeling about the Liberal party. I believe it is time for the Liberals to clean house, dispose of these old hangers on and bring in some new blood. Give us a viable option to vote for.

  • Graham
    October 06, 2011 - 11:54

    As long as the Liberals have Danny Dummer Risk they will go nowhere fast. This man is a perfect example of the mouth going long before the brain is engaged.

  • paul
    October 06, 2011 - 11:27

    A poll asks who would you prefer as Leader? I think we should all be embarassed that out of 550,000 people these 3 tools are the best we can offer up as Premier. Whoever wins will remain a joke to the rest of the country. I think it's officially rock-bottom in terms of Politics in the province. Reminds me of when Ed Byrne led the PC's hahaha. wish it was October 12th already so this farce would be over.

  • dianne
    October 06, 2011 - 10:52

    This question is for Mr Tom our province in the RED...Reason for this question...the figures don't add up...Because if we were to wright a cheque ...for the clean up at Grand Falls paper mill, this would put us in the red. In that case we as a province,don't have a surplus.

    • Doug in AB
      October 06, 2011 - 19:03

      I believe the proper spelling is "write"

  • PinkWhiteGreen
    October 06, 2011 - 10:12

    The only poll that counts is the one on Oct 11th. There are too many undecided to make the kind of call reported here. Bumbledale is too close to that miscreant Harper for my liking. I hope that people haven't forgotten what Mr. Harper did to Newfoundland and what he is still doing (search and rescue).

    • So sad
      October 06, 2011 - 14:13

      Green with envy is sounds like.

  • howie
    October 06, 2011 - 09:19

    Well I wonder who paid for this poll. Mr Alyward will try and figure out if there is somebody in The Telegram that might have a connection to the PC's. The Telegram paid for this poll and the poll was done by a reputable polling firm. Read the poll sir and apologize to the firm that did the last poll. you and your party are dead in the water and you don't have sense enough to realize it. should be exciting watching a ship sink on election night.

  • Bonzo
    October 06, 2011 - 08:56

    It will be the same song and dance. PCs will get in and everybody will complain. Time for a change try a different party.

    • Veronica
      October 06, 2011 - 14:18

      I so agree with you Bonzo...Time for a for a different party...NDP or LIBERAL.

  • axle
    October 06, 2011 - 08:42

    The people on the Avalon will decide who wins, with 75% percent of the population living on the Avalon

    • Ed
      October 06, 2011 - 14:52

      Indeed but not 75 % of the seats in the House of Assembly.

  • Eugene
    October 06, 2011 - 07:33

    If the support for Dunderdale is steady, the NDP is gaining is as a direct result of Liberals voters changing to NDP voters. This is much like what happened Federally.

    • cyberclark
      October 06, 2011 - 15:16

      This paper does not allow any comparisons which negatively reflect on the PCs! There is little chance the citizens will get a balanced choice on information leading up to an election!

  • ranter
    October 06, 2011 - 07:17

    How can any poll be sure when so many are undecided....22 percent is a lot to gain if the rural vote goes liberal or NDP. rural Nl will turn this poll on its head. Anyone that votes PC is voting for Steve Harper. Or have some already forgot. "Three per cent said they did not plan to vote, two per cent refused to say and 22 per cent indicated they are undecided."

  • BI
    October 06, 2011 - 07:06

    The premier has said that in the long run, the Muskrat Falls project will be good for the province - of course she means the 'government coffers' and not the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. I ask the premier to ask the people how they feel about the Muskrat Falls project in a referendum, so that in the long run, people will not be able to say she gave it away to NS like Joey gave Churchill Falls away to Quebec. Time to think about the people and not the money premier.

  • Ches
    October 06, 2011 - 07:04

    Fasten your seatbelts..... this is not a Danny Williams Government! ........ I realize there are not many options out there but I think this a very concering time ..... I just hope the great people of this province are prepared for the years ahead.... this would have been a perfect time to have a "NONE OF THE ABOVE" on the ballot!

  • Nothing New Here
    October 06, 2011 - 06:36

    Yaaaawwwwnnnn. The only excitement in the leadup to the election was when Yvonne Jones stepped down and the Liberals had a chance to show the were going in a new direction. And they chose to go back to the past and the old ways that got them booted out of government. Opportunity wasted.

  • John Smith
    October 06, 2011 - 06:35

    When you look at what the other two parties are offering, it's no wonder the PCs are doing well.