Majority dissatisfied with Dunderdale: CRA poll

James McLeod
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New Democrat Leader Lorraine Michael seemed to be trying to stay modest about the latest poll that puts her ahead of Premier Kathy Dunderdale.

But Michael also made it clear that people should start looking at the NDP as a potential alternative government to the Tories.

“We are a force to be reckoned with,” Michael said. “We do know issues. We know how to deal with issues.”

The latest quarterly poll by Corporate Research Associates (CRA) puts the NDP in first place with 39 per cent of decided voters.

The PC Party is one point behind with 38 per cent, and the Liberals have 22 per cent support among decided voters. Twenty six per cent of voters are undecided according to the poll.

The poll results were awash with bad news for Dunderdale and her government.

Support for the PC Party has been steadily dropping for the past year, and Dunderale’s personal popularity as premier is going down as well.

Worse still, for the first time in recent memory, more people say they’re unhappy with the government’s performance.

“In February of last year, only 21 per cent of the population was dissatisfied with this government. Now it’s 52 per cent,” said Don Mills, CEO of CRA.

“That is significant. We rarely have seen that level of dissatisfaction built over such a short period of time.”


Mills said that with 2 1/2 years before the next scheduled election, a lot can change, but at the moment, the NDP should be seen as a “government in waiting” and the main alternative to Dunderdale and the Tories.

“They’ve been slowly building up their support among the public. Their leader is now seen to be a reasonable alternative. It’s rare that an opposition leader is as popular as a premier, and we’re at a situation where they’re at least equally popular,” Mills said. “The conditions are in place for the NDP to make a significant breakthrough in the next election.”

Dunderdale brushed off the poll results. She said it’s not what she likes to see, but in the past few months her government has been making some un-popular decisions because it believes it’s the right thing to do.

“We have a history in this province where we see governments didn’t do that. They tried to buy people’s votes. They tried to be popular by doing all kinds of things that at the end of the day we couldn’t afford,” she said. “There’s solidarity within our party. We understand what it is we’re doing and where we’re going. We understand the impact of having to make difficult decisions and what that’s going to do. We have confidence in what we’re doing.”

The poll wasn’t especially good news for Liberal Leader Dwight Ball either; his party has been stuck in third place, hovering around 20 per cent of decided voters’ support.

Despite the fact that Ball’s party is substantially behind either of the other two parties, he insisted that politically, the province is in a three-way race right now.

“As we go around the province (what we hear) consistently is that people are ready for change, and I think the poll today certainly demonstrates that,” he said. “This is certainly a three-party race right now. For us, right now, we’ve been in the rebuilding mode.”

Ball said he hopes that the NDP’s lead in the polls will encourage voters to scrutinize the New Democrats more closely, and really understand what sort of government policies they’re calling for.

“There’s a lot of questions that need to be asked in terms of policy,” he said. “I encourage people to take a look at where an NDP government would actually take the province.”

The CRA poll surveyed 400 Newfoundland and Labrador residents between Feb. 11 and March 8. It is considered accurate within a margin of error of 4.5 per cent 19 times out of 20.

Twitter: TelegramJames



Organizations: Corporate Research Associates, NDP, PC Party

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Jake
    March 12, 2013 - 19:21

    If the NDP win will only be worse off.

  • wayne
    March 12, 2013 - 15:13

    Does nobody see what has happened here ? Mr. Williams left government just when all the chickens were coming home to roost. We had years of excellent revenue but instead of being frugal the 'conservative' govenment spent like crazy. The public service wages were just a drop in the bucket. There are entire deparrtments in the confederation building that did not even exist years ago. The civil service is bloated ...and that's not the unions fault.....many are not even in the union. Any fool knows when they run out of money..this situation could have been foreseen 4 or 5 years ago......but it would have been very politically unpopular. Now the current bunch is trying to clean up the mess. I don't really care who gets elected next. We can blame the previous premier and the previous finance minister for the current situation.

  • Edward Sawdon
    March 12, 2013 - 14:52

    Yes Premier Dunderdale should step down! Look what our province has become. A Booming Economy? "You Betcha! A Big Deficit? You Betcha! A multi-Billion dollar Deficit driving Muskrat Falls and Nalcor? You Betcha! Cutbacks in the Adult Dental Program? Cut funding to COD-NL? You Betcha! More costly Patronage appointments? You Betcha...! Trying to attract foreign immigrants to Newfoundland & Labrador while many people are leaving the province to find work out West? You Betcha! And on and on it goes! Lorraine Michael's NDP will win the next election? You betcha! I betcha Premier Dunderdale that you and your Preston Manning-Harper like Finance Minister and all your Conservative Reformed Alliance Party colleagues will get your Pink Slips come next provincial election!

  • Fred Penner
    March 12, 2013 - 14:36

    I can't wait for the NDP to form the next government and complete the province's transformation into a welfare state.

  • doug
    March 12, 2013 - 14:11

    Dwight Balls, what a joke. You and your has been party are going nowhere and the attack on the NDP is really pathetic and shows how desperate you crowd are.

  • darren
    March 12, 2013 - 13:00

    I see good natured people in government like Littlejohn and Davis......shame on people like you for going against your values just to support the premier. I'm sure your parents are proud of you two clowns.

  • Don II
    March 12, 2013 - 12:45

    The personal attacks regarding Premier Dunderdale's physical appearance in the photograph which are being posted by some here are not warranted. We can disagree and criticize the Premier for her Government policy and behavior in office but to personally attack the Premier in such a vicious manner is totally improper. While I do not agree with many of the actions of the Government of Newfoundland and believe that there are unethical people in that Government, I am not in agreement with personal attacks or jokes about a persons physical appearance. We can express our opinions and disagreements in a more respectful but firm manner.

  • dakota
    March 12, 2013 - 10:47

    Its Time for Dunderdale to go..step down kathy before you are brought to your knees in shame.what was Danny thinking when he left her there to be our premier? .come back Danny and save our beautiful province.we differently dont need Lorraine Michaels she can't even talk for god's sake .she don't have a clue at all. and it's time for the liberal's to wake up and stop dreaming..the N.D.P and the Liberals are just a joke..come on Kathy get out we had our laugh on you.go home and look after your grandchildren you maybe good at that.

    • W McLean
      March 12, 2013 - 11:32

      Come back Danny?!?!?!? Why, so he can finish the job of running the province's finances into the ground? Dunderdale is only left with mopping up the mess and paying the bills that seven years worth of Dannyism left behind. Stay away Danny!

  • Thumbs Up
    March 12, 2013 - 10:41

    er, hello....Paul Lane and Steve Kent; wake up please; this is your que....ready, set, go....get those thumbs in action.

  • Ben
    March 12, 2013 - 10:37

    As long as things are going well, people are fine with it! I didnt hear any people complaining 4 years ago when the public service was given a 22% raise, which certainly added to our debt! Those same people who received this historic raise are the ones kicking up now! Typical NL i guess! As for Premier Dunderdale, most people didnt want to give her a chance. Most of the policies being put in place were in action during the previous Premier, they are just getting implemented now. While it is impossible to please everyone, i really think Dunderdale is getting the raw deal here. I guess we havnt really come as far as we think we have with women holding high rank positions! Awww Lorraine watch out...the skeletons in your closet won't be protected either! While i live in the best place in the world, the media and nay sayers have made it to be almost a 3rd world country. I would certainly not encourage people to move here, in fact i may think about leaving myself. Nothing wrong with opposition but the things being put out there these days are disgraceful! Probably the worst thing we have here in the province is the 3 open line shows...we have grown into a place of cronic complainers. Maybe we should send some of these people to Haiti or Africa to see how good we really have it. If i was Kathy Dunderdale i would say to hell with all of this...but i think she is a better person than that and will see her term through! Lets see how many of those naysayers have their names on a ballot in guess is very few!

  • Don II
    March 12, 2013 - 09:02

    If the NDP forms the next Government it will face the same pressures from lobbyists, the old guard bureaucracy, business elites, investors, party faithful and special interest groups to provide them with patronage contracts, jobs, approval of projects and to even agree to expropriate other peoples property to satisfy some vested interests schemes. The true test of the NDP is whether they will be in power as devoid of ethics, morals, scruples, fiscal management skills and common sense as the current Government has been over the years. If the NDP has the will to avoid becoming a corrupt and secretive purveyor of patronage contracts, jobs and dirty dealings it may not be as popular as the current Government but it will be an open, honest, transparent, fair, prudent, progressive and democratic Government, something which the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have never known!

  • Ben
    March 12, 2013 - 08:44

    I love this pic of our leader.

  • Terry Walsh
    March 12, 2013 - 08:39

    I think it is about time that Premier Dunderdalle realize that since she has been electedshe has taken the conservative part on a steady slide down in popularity. As a long time supporter of the conservative party in my view she has become a demigod forcing projects such as Muskrat Falls down our throats. We have to look at this project that has already increased in cost by 20 percent from 6.2 billion to 7.4 billion and if history is correct this cost is far from reality. Project costs are always just a guesstimate and never an exact science when has there ever been a massive project of this magnitude that came in under or on propsed budget....never and it will be the same for Muskrat Falls. Premier Dunderdale, you and Ed Martin should put aside your ego's and listen to the people who put you into the postion of power you are abusing and stop this mega disaster before it is too late or you will be humilated at the next election. I also don't see you cutting the cabinet size and offering to slash salaries for MHA's and their executive assistants. This would promote restraint and leadership and show me that not only the backbone and experience of what makes government function. The above mentioned should have to pay the price of your government overspending and not on the needs of your constituents such as teachers, hospitals and seniors who struggle on a daily basis. With that I ask you to stop the madness in spending for your's and Danny's legacy and put the money where we need it mostly, into debt reduction not adding to it. Simply a concerned senior, Terry Walsh

  • Ann Elk
    March 12, 2013 - 08:37

    If the Newfoundland NDP is anything like the Nova Scotia NDP - you will not get what you counted on. They're rather like the Liberals in BC. Not Liberal but Big huge H Harperites. Dexter has taken a page from the Harper party lie book.

    • Lived In Both Provinces
      March 12, 2013 - 10:24

      Ann: As a Nova Scotian and Newfoundlander (born in NS, left at 18, lived in NL until I was 27, returned home) you couldn't be further from the truth. First of all, nobody in the NSNDP is a Harper fan. Secondly, the NSNDP is obviously protectionist (attempting to shore up local and provincial business, even in what Tories would call "sunset" industries [ex. Pulp and Paper] to keep jobs for normal people. You are ill-educated as to the political landscape in these two provinces. Take it from someone who's worked for Harper in the past [a guilty admission] as well as the orange side of the fence. They are nothing alike. In fact, while Alberta with all of it's oilboom money faces a huge provincial deficit, the NSNDP has brought the NS gov't to a balanced budget in 2013, despite losing $400million per year in offshore royalties that expired halfway through the current mandate. Come armed with facts next time, Ann.

  • Calvin
    March 12, 2013 - 08:35

    I didn't even read the article. Sure, Kathy ain't doin a great job, which premier has? I would like to comment on The Telegram's professionalism though. They print a story about how the majority doesn't approve of Kathy, and then dig up the ugliest picture of the woman that they could find to paste on the front page to go along with the story. You couldn't find one of her kicking a puppy? Or bludgening a seal to death with an old wooden baseball bat? I am surprised the picture used wasn't a shopped photo of her and Bin Laden holding hands and laughing.....

    • A Picture Tells A Story
      March 12, 2013 - 09:32

      This pic depics the real premier; not the glamour shot on the Tory website and distributed as a media handout.

    • Photo Shop
      March 12, 2013 - 10:23

      What's wrong with the picture? You want the truth don't you? Or, do you want it sugarcoated and distorted?

    • Political Watcher Original
      March 12, 2013 - 11:07

      Really? With all going on in the Province the photo is your only concern? Her photo is her photo, can't do much about it. Now, if you want to discuss the mess the Province is in as a result of her actions and her desire to keep the masses ignorant aka Bill 29, then you have something to complain about.

    • Bruce
      March 12, 2013 - 15:04

      LOL. I agree with Calvin. The telegram is adding to their repetoire of obscenely biased journalism with unflattering photo selection now too. Complete joke of a newspaper.

  • roy
    March 12, 2013 - 08:26

    I feel we are in the mess that we are in because of Mr. Marshalls spin doctor approach on oil revenues. Forecasting a defecit then comming up with a huge surplus. With this surplus came expectations from all quarters for improvements in roads, schools , ferry service, hospitals etc and of course wages that hed been kept back for years by the previous Lib. govt. People had the right to expect these things but if the minister of finance had not been careless with oil revenues and a slowed expenditures we wouldn't be in the shape we are today. The Lib govt has to accept a lot of blame as well for letting our infastructure decline to the state it was from mould in schools, roads to leaks in the confederation bldg to no increase in wages to even clawbacks all of which had to be addressed by this govt. What will NDP policy do for this province?The Lib govt had 25 or more years of Smallwood govt then the Wells Govt , the Grimes Govt and Tobin govt to run us into debt. so if elected what will they do? Just maybe it is time for an NDP govt. As i see it Mr Ball has nothing on the Ball and only 20 o/o thinks he does

  • Shane
    March 12, 2013 - 07:59

    Government in waiting? I'm confused about how the survey translates into seats. With "most" of the NDP support in town, where there are fewer seats but half the population, would their popularity in necessarily make them the next Government? I'm trying not to be partisan; I'm just curious about how the poll breaks down.

    • W McLean
      March 12, 2013 - 09:56

      No, "town" does NOT have half the population. The entire Avalon Peninsula, as far west as Sunnyside, barely has half the population.

    • D Wilson
      March 12, 2013 - 13:05

      FYI. As of 2011, the province's population is 514,536. Approximately 94 percent of the province's population resides on the Island of Newfoundland (including its associated smaller islands), of which more than half live on the Avalon Peninsula.

  • Political Watcher
    March 12, 2013 - 07:33

    Who's that?

  • Happily Retired
    March 12, 2013 - 07:22

    Kathy Dunderdale does not have the intellectual capacity to be premier of the province. Her leadership skills are non-existent and her decisions are being made by a crowd of people who didn't have the courage to assume the leadership of the province. Instead they chose to hide and whisper in her ear, as they plan their exit. As a result, you get the chaos that currently exists. Good for the electorate to recognize what's happening. Let's hope that we remember this during the election.

  • Don
    March 12, 2013 - 07:01

    If the PC's wish to win the next election, Dunderdale has to be replaced. The PC's will not win another election with her as premier. If she has any feelings for the party, she will step down.