TRURO – The Nova Scotia NDP provided a Toronto polling firm it hired to survey voter preferences with the incorrect name of the Liberal candidate in the Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River riding, party officials said Wednesday.
NDP campaign manager Jill Marzetti said the party mistakenly gave Forum Research the wrong name of the Liberal candidate when it conducted a telephone poll of residents in the riding.
The Liberal candidate in the riding is Barry Mellish, however, the polling firm cited Scott Hagell as the candidate.
Marzetti said the NDP provided the Toronto-based company information based on a dated list of potential candidates.
“Unfortunately in the case of Truro-Bible Hill, we missed updating for that particular candidate,” she told The Canadian Press.
Elections Nova Scotia has launched an investigation to determine what happened in that case, and Marzetti said party officials have discussed the matter with the elections watchdog.
“We’ve said this is an honest error because of not having the right list,” she said.
Marzetti said NDP officials were checking into a similar problem in the riding of Timberlea-Prospect. A party spokesman later confirmed that the name of the 2009 Progressive Conservative candidate instead of the current Tory contender was given to Forum Research for a telephone poll it conducted in that riding.
Marzetti said NDP officials would call those voters who took part in the surveys, apologize for the error and provide them with the correct names of the candidates.
During a campaign stop earlier in the day in Halifax, Premier Darrell Dexter was asked whether his party was trying to suppress the vote by using faulty polling information.
“Of course not,” he said. “Polling is expensive and it’s a very precious resource and nobody would waste it in that fashion.”
Liberal candidate Kelly Regan said she wasn’t buying the NDP’s explanation, adding that Mellish was nominated well in advance of the Sept. 7 election call.
“To me there is no reason why that (mistake) would have happened,” said Regan.
Mellish was nominated on Feb. 24.
– THE CANADIAN PRESS