Saturday, September 20, 2014

Liberals lead in final days as PCs close gap

Though the race is tightening, the Liberals under Brian Gallant appear on track to form New Brunswick's next government when voters go to the polls on Sept. 22.

The latest numbers put the Liberals in the lead with 45 per cent, against 36 per cent for David Alward's governing Progressive Conservatives. The New Democrats were at 11 per cent, with the Greens in fourth at 6 per cent.

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The projection has changed only a little with the addition of the CRA poll, and primarily at the margins. Liberal support upticked slightly from 44.3% to 44.8%, while the Tories were up 1.6 points to 35.3%. The NDP was down 1.8 points to 11.9%.

In terms of the seats, the Liberals and Tories swapped one in the projection. The Liberals are now projected to win 31 and the Tories to win 18.

But the likely ranges are more interesting. From 28 to 37 seats for the Liberals, they have dropped to between 25 and 35. That puts them just above the minimum threshold for a majority government. The Tories have gone from 11 to 21 seats up to 13 to 24 seats.

And the drop in NDP support has resulted in the party's maximum falling from five seats to two seats.

We should expect to hear from Forum on Sunday night, as Forum tends to put out numbers on the eve of an election. If that occurs, I will try to update on Sunday night as well and have a full analysis on Monday. I will be looking for signs that the PCs are indeed making gains.