NDP to ‘rethink their strategy’ for an election in wake of support drop: Pollster

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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.

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.

Organizations: NDP, Corporate Research Associates, Liberal Party PC Party

Geographic location: Don Mills, Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • R.J. Langille
    June 12, 2013 - 07:27

    There’s more to good government than balanced budgets. When government cuts essential services to tweak a budget as Dexter’s NDP did with veteran's meals at PCHA, it sends a strong, negative message to the local community. Few issues have generated as much public outrage. Yet nobody in authority seems to be listening at this common voice of dissent and disgust. Good government requires awareness of local issues. Yet when Premier Dexter was asked recently about this issue, he said it was the first he heard about it. This despite the fact all three Pictou County ridings are “represented” by NDP members - Landry, MacKinnon and Parker – with two of them in cabinet. Sadly the premier knew nothing of an issue that has been foremost in the press each week for months and a hot topic on the street. If the NDP want to understand their decline in popularity, the answer might be how well they represent families. Failure to protect our most vulnerable and valuable citizens, our vets and seniors, is a recipe for disaster that does not require a pollster to explain.

  • rob glue
    June 11, 2013 - 22:31

    Mr. Smoke...you comments make me shudder. If you actually, truly believe the NDP are socialists then I fear what lurks deep within your heat; I have no idea who you are but hopefully you have never nor will ever come close to the corridors of political power in this province. If you have or do, then may God have mercy on us all.

    June 11, 2013 - 16:56

    The aggressive renewable energy targets, and blind devotion to pushing wind turbine development into communities where it is not wanted has hurt this government, not surprisingly.

  • Kevin
    June 11, 2013 - 15:53

    @JohnnySmoke. I'm really glad we have a separation of Church and State in this country, considering your blatant mixing (and misrepresenting) of political and religious ideologies. You're perfectly welcome to use "I" as a pronoun, but you cannot claim to speak for the province or even for Presbyterians or Catholics. Your diatribe is certainly at odds with quite a bit of what Jesus preached. We certainly do not have an "easy welfare" system as you suggest we do. A single unemployed individual with a disability is certainly not making a king's ransom from welfare. It's under a thousand dollars a month typically for shelter, food, and everything else. Considering the poverty line is around $25,000 for a single individual, that is hardly an easy welfare system.

  • johnny smoke
    June 11, 2013 - 12:52

    We as a province are not socialist. The majority of our residents are from either Presbyterian or Catholic forbearer's . We believe we are responsible for our own welfare and abhor the easy welfare system that we have today. Next election it is hoped that a party,any party with this ideal in mind will be elected, I for one am really tired of seeing the hard earned tax money being thrown about like so much confetti. It is time to get back to the basics. The N.D.P. plan in any form is not the way there.