By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax
HALIFAX - A new poll suggests support for the Liberal party has increased in Nova Scotia over the past three months, but over half of those surveyed say they are still undecided or will not vote in the next election.
© The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter
According to the latest Corporate Research Associates survey released on Monday, the Liberal Party now has 45 per cent of voter support, up from 39 per cent in February, while the NDP has slipped from 32 per cent to 26 this quarter.
“We’re unlikely to have an election anytime soon I think,” said Don Mills, CRA chairman.
“They’re going to have to rethink their strategy in terms of when is the right time to give them the best opportunity to win, and it doesn’t appear that moment is now.”
Nova Scotia supporters of the PC Party have remained stable at 26 per cent, compared to 24 per cent in February.
Liberal leader Stephen McNeil remains the most popular leader with 31 per cent of voter support, up from 26 per cent three months ago.
Premier Darrell Dexter’s popularity has slid to 18 per cent from 21, now tied with PC leader Jamie Baillie.
Four in 10 residents say they are satisfied with the overall performance of the Dexter government (40 per cent, unchanged since February), and about one-half of Nova Scotians are dissatisfied with the NDP government, which stands at 49 per cent compared with 51 earlier.
Mills said he thought NDP support would go up because of their balanced budget this quarter, “but that didn’t happen, the opposite happened.”
He added with low numbers in the polls, “all bets are off” as to when Dexter will call an election, but said it might land in early 2014 because they need time to gather support.
These numbers are based on a sample of 800 adult Nova Scotians, conducted from May 8 to May 30, 2013, with overall results accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.
High volume of undecideds ‘unusual’ close to election
The Corporate Research Associates poll shows over one-half of Nova Scotians surveyed are undecided, do not plan to vote, or did not offer a response (55 per cent, up from 48 per cent).
“This is an unusually high number for this close to an election,” Mills said.
Mills said he thinks the 55 per cent partly comes from those who voted NDP for the first time in the last election, and aren’t happy with how the Dexter government has run things but now aren’t sure who to support.
“They tried the NDP as the third party, and that hasn’t worked out to their expectations perhaps, and know they’re thinking ‘what do I do now?’” Mills said.
He added the high percentage could be from combination of reasons, and not necessarily that 55 per cent of voters just don’t care about government.
“There are some people who are just waiting to get more information in an election before they decide who’s going to make the best choice,” Mills said.