McNeil Liberals regain lead in voter support, while satisfaction with government still lags

  • NS Liberals and Progressive Conservatives break tie, with Liberals now out front.
  • Half of Nova Scotia voters remain dissatisfied with performance of McNeil government.
  • Support for NS Green Party and its leader continues to rise.

HALIFAX, September 17, 2019: Nova Scotia’s Liberal Party has regained the lead from the Progressive Conservatives in decided voter support, although half of Nova Scotians remain dissatisfied with the Liberal government of Premier Stephen McNeil, according to the latest survey by Narrative Research.

Over the past three months, decided support for the provincial Liberals has climbed eight points, while support for the PC Party has dropped five points. Liberal support now stands at 39% (up from 31% in May and 37% in February). The PCs are backed by 28% of decided voters (down from 33% in May and 34% in February). Meanwhile, the provincial New Democrats and Green Party are now in a statistical tie, with the NDP supported by 16% of decided voters (down from 21% in May and 24% in February) and the Greens backed by 15% (compared with 13% and 5%).

Thirty-five percent of adult Nova Scotians are undecided, 4% refuse to state their preference, and 4% say they do not plan to vote.

Amid the Liberals’ summer gains in support, half of Nova Scotians (49%) remain dissatisfied with the performance of the McNeil government. Even so, this represents a 7-point improvement in the dissatisfaction ratings (up from 56% in May – a record low for the McNeil Liberals – and 53% in February).

Meanwhile on the question of leadership, preference for the main party leaders remains stable. One-quarter of Nova Scotian voters (25%) prefer McNeil as premier (compared with 24% in May and 26% in February), 19% express a preference for PC leader Tim Houston (compared with 20% and 24%) and 14% prefer NDP leader Gary Burrill (compared with 16% and 15%). Ratings for Green Party leader Thomas Trappenberg continue to rise, with 12% preferring Trappenberg this quarter (up from 10% in May and 4% in February). Thomas Bethell, interim Atlantica Party leader, has the support of 1% of voters.

Twenty-four percent of voters are undecided on the matter of leadership, while 4% prefer none of the leaders.

These results are part of Narrative Research’s Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent, quarterly telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a sample of 800 adult Nova Scotians, conducted from July 31 to August 22, 2019, with overall results accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

Narrative Research,, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. Founded in 1978 as Corporate Research Associates, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative.


For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research, at (902) 493-3830,

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