Thursday, March 8, 2012

Liberals gain in Nova Scotia, NDP still in control

The Corporate Research Associates released their quarterly poll for Nova Scotia yesterday, indicating that support for the provincial Liberals has grown on the backs of the Progressive Conservatives. But this is a fight for second, as Darrell Dexter's NDP still holds a 17-point lead over their nearest opposition rival.
CRA was last in the field in November 2011, and since then the New Democrats have slipped only one point, maintaining their lead with 44%. The Liberals are up five points to 27% while the PCs are down four points to 25%. The Greens are down one to 3%.

Nova Scotia is set to vote in 2013, but these poll results are virtually identical to the electoral results of the 2009 election. It would appear that Nova Scotians have remained unmoved over the last three years.

But there has been some variation since the last vote. At 27%, the Liberals are at their highest point since February 2011, while at 25% the Tories are at their lowest since August 2010.

Things are generally solid for Dexter, whose government has a 48% satisfaction score, compared to 42% who are dissatisfied. He is seen as the best person to be premier by 29%, though that is down seven points since November and his lowest score since May 2011.

Stephen McNeil is the choice of 21%, down one point since November but pretty steady over the last year. Jamie Baillie, leader of the Progressive Conservatives, has moved ahead of McNeil and now registers 22% support, up four points. He has been on a relatively steady increase since becoming leader at the end of 2010.

With these levels of support, the NDP wins 31 seats, the Liberals 12, and the Progressive Conservatives nine.

The New Democrats win 14 seats in and around Halifax, with the Liberals taking four.

The Tories win four seats in Cape Breton while the Liberals win three and the NDP two.

In the Valley and the South Shore, the New Democrats win seven seats to five for the Liberals and two for the Tories.

And in Fundy and the central part of the province, the NDP takes eight seats with the Tories winning three.

Status quo for Nova Scotia, with the New Democrats winning a second term and the Liberals forming the Official Opposition. Dexter's support has been pretty solid for some time, though for a brief period in his government the provincial landscape was split three-ways, as it has been before. But with the next election likely to come on the heels of the May 2013 election in British Columbia, where the BC NDP is favoured, the trends look favourable for the New Democrats in Nova Scotia as well.


  1. Those results generally look right to me, but I think the numbers ought to be 30-12-10. The NDP won Cumberland North in 2009 on the backs of a divided PC vote - disgraced ex-cabinet minister Ernie Fage ran as an independent and got about 2,200 votes, while the PC candidate got about 1,400. When you combine the two, they outnumber the 3,200 the NDP candidate picked up by about 400 votes. Fage won't be running this time, so I expect a lot of his vote to return to whoever the PC candidate is.

    1. Could be, and if I'm not mistaken the electoral map will get a re-draw before the next election as well.

    2. I would say that there is a lot of uncertainty. Places like Yarmouth and Antigonish will be interesting to see since they voted conservative but changed seats in by elections. I also think Karen Casey will hold her seat which will take their total down one.

      And Eric, yes there will be new boundaries and there has been speculation that Argyle and Preston are going to lose their special status which could be interesting, especially if Preston gets mixed into the strong NDP area of Dartmouth and Argyle into the Liberal valley

    3. Sure the spread in Cumberland North was only 400 votes, but the incumbent took the seat with over 40% of the vote. That's too healthy a plurality to just be written off. In fact, when you look at the results for the '99, '03 and '06 campaigns (when the dippers ran paper candidates with no canvass, signage or public appearances) CumN had solid 14-15% NDP support.

      '09 mobilized latent NDP support, the same will happen in '13. Early to say, but I think it'll stay NDP.

  2. Sorry for a totally unrelated topic.

    Remember the strange burst of Conservative support on the election day, inconsistent with last 2-3 days polling numbers? I decided to quantify it now, using numbers.

    Five polls in the last two days before the election had Conservatives at 33.9-37.1%, or 35.6+-1.3% (one sigma).

    The electoral result for CPC is 39.6% - a massive 4% (or 3.1 sigma - the probability of this happening by chance is less than 0.3%) over the average poll prediction, and 2.5% (2 sigma) over the largest poll prediction.

    Some thought it was a "shy Tory factor". I personally attributed that to the last moment Harper's appeal to "Blue Liberals".

    In reality, a large chunk of that difference could have come from the electoral fraud. And not just vote suppression via robocalls - I know you tried to analyse that factor. New stories about other ways of cheating are emerging (like the possibility of "carousel voting" as discussed on the CBC National yesterday). BTW, I saw your interview on the National - good job!

    I know pollsters were really confused after the election, because of these unexplainable discrepancies. Are pollsters discussing this now, in the light of the possible election fraud?

    1. voter turnout was up 2.3 percent in 11 from 08

      .... up 3.1 % in Ontario where most of the allegations both suppression and robocalls come from...

      Now you are talking about the pollster-final result difference being 4%

      Do you really think that turnout in the last election would have been up more than 6%? or about 7% up in Ontario??

      The 4% gap you are refering to amounts to almost 600,000 votes you allege to be supressed.

      .... or 1 in every 25 people who not only received a phone call.... but chose not to vote because of it. That amounts to several people just on your block.

      That presupposes that no conservatives received and chose not to. And that every opposition voter who received a phone call chose not to. Lets assume that more than 1/2 of the people who received calls voted anyway. (not unreasonable given the number of people who ignore on robocalls or political calls in general).

      It would require a massive campaign to reach 1 in 10 voters. Don't you think you would have heard more about it sooner?? I mean we are talking one in every 5 houses on your street now.

      600,000 people who didn't vote.... on 30 complaints in the 5 months after the election ).... or only 31,000 (contacts not necessarily complaints) given a mass campaign to get people to file complaints 9 months later.....

      Massive voter fraud?? There might be some.

      But on the scale you are talking about??? I think you are grasping at straws to explain why the guys you don't like got more votes than the guys you do like.

  3. I look forward to your analysis of the CRA polls in NB and NL as well. (Sorry i just can't take PEI seriously)


COMMENT MODERATION POLICY - Please be respectful when commenting. If choosing to remain anonymous, please sign your comment with some sort of pseudonym to avoid confusion. Please do not use any derogatory terms for fellow commenters, parties, or politicians. Inflammatory and overly partisan comments will not be posted. PLEASE KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.