By David Coletto
According to a new VOCM-Abacus Data random telephone survey of 722 eligible voters in Newfoundland and Labrador conducted from June 17 to 21, 2015, the NL Liberals continue to hold a large lead in voter support. The survey also finds a surge in support for the NDP, which has jumped into second place ahead of the PCs, who now find themselves in third place, 32-points behind the Liberals.
The Liberals lead the NDP by 28-points with support at 53% among committed voters. The NDP stands at 25% while 21% of committed respondents would vote for the Progressive Conservatives. Support for the Liberals is down 4-points, up 16-points for the NDP, and down 11-points for the PCs since March 2015.
Among all respondents, 19% said they were undecided unchanged from March.
Liberals ahead in all regions of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Liberal Party leads in all regions of the province although the race is much closer on the Avalon Peninsula and in the St. John’s region where the Liberals have a 9-point lead over the NDP. In the region, the Liberals have the support of 42% of committed voters compared to 33% for the NDP and 24% for the PCs.
In the rest of the province, the Liberals have very large leads over their rivals. In Eastern Newfoundland, the Liberals led by 45-points over the Tories (L 68, PC 23, NDP 9). In Central Newfoundland, the Liberal lead is 45-points over the Tories (L 64, PC 19, NDP 17), while in Western Newfoundland, the Liberals lead by 45-points over the NDP (L 65, NDP 20, PC 15). In Labrador, the Liberal lead is 28-points over the NDP (L 45%, NDP 26%, PC 18%).
Only four in ten past PC voters are currently supporting the PCs; 28% of former NDP voters now back the Liberals
When we compare current vote intention with how voters said they voted in the 2011 provincial election, the Liberal Party’s lead is built around three factors: it is holding most of its previous support (92% of former Liberal voters currently support the party), it has attracted 41% of former PC supporters while also gaining the support of 28% of those who voted NDP in the last provincial election.
The Progressive Conservative Party has the support of only 44% of its former supporters. Twenty-seven percent (41%) of former PC supporters now say they would vote Liberal while 14% said they are now supporting the NDP.
The NDP has lost about three in ten of its past voters with 28% saying they would vote Liberal and 2% saying they would vote PC.
NL Liberals have the largest pool of accessible voters but the NDP is gaining
The survey also asked respondents if they would consider voting for each of the three main political parties. The Liberals have the largest pool of accessible voters with two in three eligible voters (64%) in NL saying they would consider voting Liberal. This compares with 50% for the NDP and 35% for the PCs.
For the NDP, its pool of accessible voters has surged by 21-points since March and the election of its new leader Earle McCurdy. The Tories, on the other hand, have seen a further erosion of its potential support. Only 35% of eligible voters in NL now say they would consider voting PC, down 6-points since March.
Insights from Abacus Data
Since March, the political landscape in Newfoundland and Labrador has changed substantially. While the Liberals continue to hold a large lead over their rivals, the NL NDP has surged ahead of the incumbent PCs into second place. The election of the NDP in Alberta and the positive reception that NDP leader Earle McCurdy has received since becoming leader in March likely accounts in the surge of support for the NDP in not only vote intentions, but also in the number of eligible voters who would consider voting NDP. The NDP is in a much stronger position today than they were only three months ago when the party was languishing in single digit support.
The same cannot be said for the incumbent Progressive Conservative Party. Since March of this year, support for the incumbents has dropped 11-points to 21%. To make matters worse, fewer eligible voters today would consider voting PC than at any point since we started tracking voter intentions in the province. Only 35% of eligible voters would consider voting PC – almost half as many as would consider voting for the Liberal Party.
The desire for change in the province is strong and despite relatively good personal numbers, Premier Davis faces a daunting challenge rebuilding his party’s support before the November election. Not only does he face a Liberal Party with broad and deep support across the province but an upstart NDP which is benefiting from a popular leader and renewed interest in the party.
Early next week we will release further results from the survey on top issues, the desire for change, leaders, and how voters perceive the two opposition leaders. We will also have reaction to the HST hike announced in the recent provincial budget. That will be followed by a look at federal politics in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The random live-interview telephone survey commissioned by VOCM was conducted with 722 eligible voters living in Newfoundland and Labrador. The survey was completed from June 17 to 21, 2015. The margin of error for a probability-based random sample of 500 respondents using a probability sample is +/- 3.7%, 19 times out of 20.
The data was statistically weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched population of Newfoundland and Labrador. The tables within this report detail the weighted and unweighted counts for the sample.
Note the small sample sizes when reviewing results in subgroups.
For more information about the poll’s methodology or the results, please contact David Coletto, CEO at email@example.com or at 613-232-2806.
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