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The Telegram commissioned Narrative Research to conduct an online survey between May 8 and May 12 across the province.
Rather than focus on “who” residents will vote for, the survey looked to assess if Newfoundlanders and Labradorians plan to vote, how informed they are about their local political landscape and if they think their vote will make a difference.
The results indicate that:
• 85 per cent of residents plan to vote in the provincial election, with voting intentions consistently high across the Avalon, eastern and western regions. Voting intentions vary by age and are lowest among the younger age group (72 per cent) and highest among those 55-plus years of age (90 per cent). People not planning to vote primarily attribute this to a lack of faith in the process, a lack of preference for either party or a perception that their voice doesn’t matter.
• There is strong awareness of the local political landscape. In fact, nine in 10 (90 per cent) reported knowing the names of the candidates running in their district, while a similar percentage (91 per cent) know the names of the leaders of the political parties in Newfoundland and Labrador.
• In spite of residents’ apparent political knowledge and engagement, only one-half think the election will make a difference. In fact, only 53 per cent believe which political party wins the election matters, while a similar proportion think either that it will not (35 per cent), or are unsure if it will (12 per cent).
Margaret Brigley, CEO and partner of Narrative Research (formerly Corporate Research Associates), said people in Newfoundland and Labrador are generally pretty interested in politics. She said it’s good news that most people indicated they intend to vote.
“The question is, does that intention carry through on election day?” Brigley said. “When you ask the political question (such as do you intend to vote?), for some people the correct answer is always ‘yes’ regardless of whether they follow through on it.”
Through the results, The Telegram is looking to engage in a conversation with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians about the election.
The results are part of an independent online survey of adult Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and are based on a sample of 586 completed surveys.
While a margin of error cannot be applied because of the non-probability sampling methodology, the results reflect the actual distribution of the province’s population (by region, age and gender).
In the coming days, the poll results will be used to discuss voting reform, and priorities for the province.