New political poll shows no major shifts

James McLeod jmcleod@thetelegram.com
Published on June 4, 2014
From left, Conservative leader, Premier Tom Marshall, NDP leader Lorraine Michael and Liberal leader Dwight Ball.
Telegram file

New political polling numbers show no significant change in the popularity of Newfoundland and Labrador’s three political parties.

Numbers from Corporate Research Associates show that the Liberals remain on top, and if an election were held today they would likely win a strong majority government.

Respondents were asked who they would vote for if an election was held today; 53 per cent of decided voters said that they would support the Liberals, 29 per cent said they would support the PCs, and 16 per cent backed the NDP.

Those numbers are all within the margin of error compared to the last polling period in February, so there’s been no statistically significant change.

One ray of hope for the Tories, though, is that voter satisfaction is increasing.

Sixty-four per cent of respondents said they were either completely or mostly satisfied with the government performance under interim Premier Tom Marshall. That’s an increase from 57 per cent in February.

Back in December, before then-premier Kathy Dunderdale resigned, only 42 per cent of the people polled said they were happy with the government’s performance.

Like the party numbers, though, the polling numbers for individual leaders are essentially unchanged from a few months ago, the last time CRA was polling in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Liberal Leader Dwight Ball remains the most popular leader with 38 per cent public support. Marshall is second with 33 per cent support and NDP Leader Lorraine Michael is third with 11 per cent.

Another 18 per cent didn’t know who they favoured or said none of the above.

All of this sets the stage for a major challenge for incoming premier Frank Coleman, who will take over as the new leader of the PC party in July.

Coleman will have a year before the next general election to figure out some way to turn the PC party’s polling numbers around, after more than two years of steady declines.

The poll was conducted in May and surveyed 800 residents of the province. It is considered to have an overall margin of error of 3.5 per cent 19 times out of 20.