Saturday, June 5, 2010

A CRA-load of polls - two interesting races

Corporate Research Associates, a polling firm in Atlantic Canada, has released a slew of provincial polls for all four Atlantic provinces. Unsurprisingly, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador are dominated by their respective governing parties. But there are some interesting races starting in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

But first, Prince Edward Island, the fiefdom of Robert Ghiz and his Liberal Party.Compared to CRA's last set of polls in February, the Liberals have lost three points but are still way ahead with 61% support. The leaderless Progressive Conservatives are at 27%, up one. The Island New Democrats have gained two points to 8% and the Greens are down one to 3%.

A majority, or 64%, of Prince Edward Islanders are satisfied with the governing of the island, though that is down three from February. Ghiz is the best man to be premier for 47% (down one), compared to 16% for the next leader of the PC Party (down one).

Not much of a race here. The same goes for Newfoundland & Labrador, the domain of Danny Williams and his Progressive Conservatives.Here, the Progressive Conservatives are down five points but still lead with a staggering 75%. The Liberals have gained one but are, oh, still 59 points behind the PCs. The NDP is up three to 8%.

Fully 87% of Newfoundlanders are satisfied with the government. Incredibly, that is down six points! And this isn't a case, as in PEI, where the leader is less popular than the ruling party. Williams is the best man for his job for 79% of Newfoundlanders (down two), while Yvonne Jones of the Liberals is at 11% (up three).

But while the island kingdoms are tranquil, there is more trouble on the mainland. First, New Brunswick, where Liberal leader Shawn Graham is struggling.But he's actually doing better than in February. Perhaps his back-pedaling on the NB Power deal has helped. His party has gained one point and stands at 37%, still five points behind the Progressive Conservatives, who are steady at 42%. The NDP is down two to 16% and the Greens are up one to 5%.

The best news for Graham is that satisfaction is up seven points to 41%. His personal popularity is also up: three points to 28%. More importantly, that pushes him past PC leader David Alward, who is steady at 27%. Roger Duguay of the NDP is at 10%, down one.

Will Graham be able to right the ship before the next election, likely in September of this year? I'm going to have to get cracking on a projection system for the province...

But the most interesting development in this set of CRA polls is from Nova Scotia. There, Darrell Dexter's NDP government has plunged in popular support.The party is down fully nine points to 37%, while the Liberals have gained that much and are now only two points behind the NDP, with 35%. The odd-party out is the Progressive Conservative Party, which is up two points but lagging behind with only 24%. The Greens are down one to 4%.

Satisfaction with the government is down six to 43%, while Dexter's popularity has plummeted by 11 points to 24%. Stephen McNeil of the Liberals is up three to 29%.

The good news for the NDP is that the next election is three or four years away, but could the Liberals return to power in Nova Scotia, which they haven't held since 1999?


  1. I knew the next poll for Nova Scotia would show a big change, but not that big.

    McNeil would make a great Premier. Too bad the election is so far off. He'd wipe the floor with Dexter right about now.

  2. NF & PEI are absolute locks.

    The other two are in the realm of change.

    Interesting Eric that all are referred to as Progressive Conservative not CPC ??

  3. Danny's near record lows lows.

    Nova Scotia is an interesting province, I don't think any other province has three popular parties. If an election were being held their in September instead of New Brunswick any party could form the government.

    It's too bad CRA does not do federal polls, they would be a lot more acurate due to the large sample sizes. We'd then see where each party is doing well, I'd like to see how the Conservatives stand in NL.

  4. If the NB Liberals can make that kind of recovery that fast, I suspect Dexter in NS has relatively little to worry about right now. His tax and balanced budget promise may be forgotten as McGuinty's was in Ontario, or in Canada... or in just about every province.

  5. Volkov, do you think the change is Expenses Scandal-based, Rise in HST-based, or just that Nova Scotia's honeymoon with NDP is ending?

    (Or a mix of all three?)

  6. NB is having an election in September - so the one whose head is really on the chopping block is Shawn Graham.

    I'm not concerned about NS. A smart party knows that if its going to do anything unpopular - its best to get it over with the in the first year. This was the case with McGuinty and his "health levy" etc... and the NS budget needed to include some tax increases for the province not to go belly up. I'm pleasantly surprised that the NDP is still in the lead in a poll taken at the worst possible time for them. Now the next election is three years away (an eternity in politics) and once the Tories pick a leader, the rightwing vote will be more evenly split.

  7. Those numbers for Graham in New Brunswick might look salvageable on the surface - but remember that at this point in the 2006 cycle, the incumbent PCs held a 7-point lead and Bernard Lord's personal numbers were more than 20 points ahead of Shawn Graham's.

    The fact that the NB Power deal has dropped from the headlines certainly can't be a *bad* thing for Graham, but rebounding by 1 point to a 5-point deficit behind one of the most lacklustre oppositions in recent memory isn't something that the Liberals should be excited about. Also consider that the last poll to show the Liberals ahead of the PCs was taken in September 2009, two months before the NB Power deal was even announced.

  8. FHS Political Forum,

    All three. Lord knows the Liberals didn't escape fully from the wrath of the expenses scandal, but they were the ones least hurt by it, kind of the same way the UK Lib Dems were the least hurt by the expenses scandal there. Sometimes being the third party has its benefits. And now that the honeymoon is over, Dexter's tax rise won't go unnoticed.

    Kevin Sutton is right in saying that Dexter will most likely recover, but he won't recover to his old position, being 45+ in the polls while the Liberals and PCs duked it out for second. The race will stay relatively tight unless Dexter does something amazing.

    I say the next CRA poll has the race 40-30-25, NDP-Lib-PC, unless of course the PCs get a honeymoon lift if they have a leader by then.

  9. What DL, so conveniently left out of his post was the following:

    Jack Layton, and the Federal NDP, have been having quite the field day in British Columbia, and Ontario, with the HST.

    Layton and crew, have demonized Mcguinty, and Campbell over the issue. They go on ad ad nauseum about it. You will not find bigger wind bags anywhere.

    However the provincial NDP, premier in Nova Scotia raised the HST, after promising not to.

    Layton, and the Federal NDP, decry this tax as regressive, and an attack on the poor.

    Layton has not uttered one word about what Darrell Dexter, did.

    It is so ironic that Jack Layton, is in Nova Scotia this weekend, at the provincial NDP, convention, and still not one word.

    Now does Jack Layton care about the average joe or doesn't he?

    He doesn't seem to care about them in Nova Scotia, but he does care about them in BC, and Ontario.

    Perhaps DL, being a card carrying NDP, member in good standing can account for this apparent oversight.

  10. Its irrelevant - the HST has been around in Nova Scotia for about 15 years and was brought in when the Tories were in power. The NDP was never going to put toothpaste back into a toothpaste tube. We all remember how the federal Liberals solemnly promised to get rid of the GST in 1993 - what ever happened to that promise??? Meanwhile, the NS government had three choices, default on the massive debt left by the Tories, lay off half the provincial workforce or raise some revenue by increasing the HST. If the HST didn't exist and there was a PST - I'm sure that would have been increased by the same amount.

    The thing is that what BC and Ontario are doing is not increasing taxes in order to pay for needed programs. Its just a transfer of tax from businesses to individuals. Its "revenue neutral" to government - while citizens lose and corporations win.

    I'm looking forward to the next federal election - maybe Harper and Ignatieff can share a stage with Gordon Campbell and the three of them can speak to some pro-HST rallies across BC (if they can pay a few winos to make up the audience).

  11. Bravo DL,

    I mean really Bravo.

    I could have saved you the time and wrote tour statement because I knew it was exactly what you were going to say.

    It not is nice to see we have a leader such as Jack Layton, such a man of honour and principle.

    It is nice to know you really will defend anything as long as the NDP, is doing it.

    The next time you come on here ranting and raving, about how the Liberals, and the Conservatives do not care about poor people, it will ring as hollow as your above statement.

    The NDP, rants and raves about everything while they are in opposition, and takes responsibility for nothing while they are in government.

    Here in Manitoba, Gary Doer, before he left for Washington was still blaming the Tories for certain things, even though they have been out of office for ten years.

    I am glad the NDP, got into office in Nova Scotia, because that will give Atlantic Canada a chance to see that the NDP, is no better than any other political party when it comes to lying and unprincipled behaviour.

    It will give them a chance to see how much the NDP, cares about the "Average Joe" "Little Guy" and all the other euphemisms they use, how untrue it really is.

    They will see the NDP, is no better than anyone else despite the lofty rhetoric.

    They art actually worse, because they are such hypocrites.

  12. "We are against having it,... but it is here and we are therefore going to use it". Wonderfully pragmatic DL. But hardly the principled stand that Layton has been defining.

    I find myself having to point out (again) that corporations do not pay taxes.... If they are paying taxes above their profit, they go bankrupt and they don't do anymore business. Rather every cent they pay in taxes is rolled into the price of goods they sell. It is therefore not a transfer of tax from business to consumer,... but a reallocation of where the consumer is forced to pay the tax.... And only on what they choose to buy, some taxes take from the consumer before they decide to buy anything.

  13. DL since the NDP says and I agree that the HST as well as PST and GST are very regressive taxes, why didn't the NS government increase income taxes. High consumption taxes also encourage the underground economy. How many Nova Scotians will make the drive to NB or even Maine to evade paying 15% HST. How many will agree to pay cash for car repairs or house repairs to evade a 15% HST? The higher the consumption tax the more incentive to evade. This was demonstrated by the actions of the Federal and Provincial governments in many provinces when they lowered tobacco taxes by large amounts in the nineties and the sale of contraband tobacco fell to very small amounts as the incentive was removed. The tobacco tax is just an example.

  14. 49 well put post. If the HST is bad for ON and BC then an increase is bad for NS. Layton will get caught in his hypocrisy, never fear.

  15. The issue in BC and Ontario is the INTRODUCTION of the HST. This has to be stopped and the parties behind it have to be punished.

    No one in BC gives a hoot about what the Nova Scotia government does. All that matters is that about 90% of people in BC are furious about lying Gordon Campbell, his accomplice Harper and their HST. If people in BC want to express themselves about how much they hate the HST - there is only one party to vote for - and you can be sure that if we have a fall election, NDP ads in BC will be all "show your contempt for the Campbell/Harper HST - vote NDP" and no one will give a hoot about what is happening in any other province. In politics you only ever have to justify what you say today!

  16. DL you support hypocrisy. How nice. BC voters will be reminded, as will ON voters of Mr. Layton's stand. They will care about the hypocrisy of the NDP because such hypocrisy proves the NDP are nothing more than political opportunist's and can't be trusted any more than Mr. Campbell. Mr. Layton cannot support an increase in a tax in one province he says he doesn't support the introduction of in other provinces. Campbell's Liberal's lied. Layton is by inference lying. How nice. That, by the way, has nothing to do with Stephan Harper. Sorry.

  17. Keep on spinning away DL.

    You are making less sense every time you post.

    There is consistency, or finesse in any of your arguments.

    Why don't you just say that you are an NDP, partisan hack an be done with it.

    At least then you would be honest and truthful, and will have at least put something forward that could garner a little respect.

    Typical NDP baloney, and talking points.

    Don't do as we do, just do as we say.

  18. The HST is a federal initiative. The federal Parliament voted on it and voted to bribe BC and Ontario with scarce tax dollars from the rest of the country. The NDP is the only party opposing that. Harper will wear this big time - just like Mulroney never recovered from the GST.

  19. The PEI polling isn't surprising. My party affiliation aside (which should be evident from my screen name), governments on PEI get a second term (and have decent odds of a third). The last time a government failed to get a second term was in 1935, in the middle of the Great Depression.


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