Corporate Research Associates has released a timely poll on the first day of the New Brunswick electoral campaign. However, the poll was taken throughout most of August, so this is merely a starting point for us.The Liberals have 41%, up four points from CRA's last poll taken in the last half of May 2010. The Progressive Conservatives have dropped six points to 36%, while the New Democrats are stable at 16%.
The Greens are up one to 6% while the People's Alliance comes in at 1%. This is their first mention in a CRA poll.
The amount of undecideds is huge at 41%. So anything can happen at this point.
With this result, the Liberals would win 33 seats and Shawn Graham would be elected to a second term. The Progressive Conservatives would drop to 20 seats while the New Democrats would win two.
Satisfaction with Graham's government is not high, at only 44%. That is down from 53% a year ago. Dissatisfaction is at 49%, so really the province is split.
As to who would make the best Premier, 29% of New Brunswickers give the nod to Graham. David Alward is not far behind at 22%. Roger Duguay of the NDP is at 8%, Jack MacDougall of the Greens is at 5%, and Kris Austin of the PA is at 3%.
Taking out the none of the above and don't know responses (34% in all), we get 44% for Graham, 33% for Alward, 12% for Duguay, 8% for MacDougall, and 5% for Austin. This indicates that the Liberals, Greens, and People's Alliance have room for growth, while the Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats could be dragged down a little by their leader. However, I wouldn't put much stock into that for the NDP, as those who support the NDP are well aware that Duguay will not be the next Premier.
This new poll bumps the NDP and Greens up 0.8 points in the projection to 12.5% and 2.9%, respectively. The Liberals are dragged down 0.1 to 41.8% while the Progressive Conservatives fall 1.5 points to 42%. As a result, the Liberals pick up two seats from the PCs, who still take the most seats with 27 to the Liberals' 26.