- Amid volatility in support for opposition parties, numbers for governing Liberals hold steady.
- NDP shows strong gains under leadership of Alison Coffin.
- Electorate divided over performance of Liberal government.
September 17, 2019: A sharp drop in support this quarter for the Progressive Conservative Party, accompanied by even steeper gains by the New Democrats, suggests a volatile political environment in Newfoundland and Labrador following the provincial election in May.
Although the strength of the opposition parties is in flux, the governing Liberals maintain their lead in support, with the backing of 42% of decided voters (down slightly from 46% in May 2019 and 45% in February 2019). Meanwhile, support for the PCs has fallen 10 points this quarter to 32% (down from 42% in May 2019 and 38% in February 2019). PC numbers have now reached levels not seen since February of 2018, when support registered at 33%.
NDP support has also reached levels not witnessed since February 2018, when the party had the backing of 24% of decided voters. That number currently sits at 23%, a 16 point gain over the past three months (up from 7% in May 2019 and 16% in February 2019).
Twenty-seven percent of NL voters are undecided, 5% do not plan to vote in the next provincial election, and 3% refuse to state which party they support.
Three months after the May election, the province’s voters remain divided in terms of their satisfaction with the performance of the Liberal government of Premier Dwight Ball, with 47% expressing satisfaction (compared with 51% in May and 47% in February) and 45% saying they are dissatisfied.
On the question of leadership, Ball remains the preferred choice of premier among 34% of voters (compared with 38% in each of the past two quarters). PC leader Ches Crosbie’s leadership ratings are also generally steady, with 26% favouring Crosbie (versus 30% in May and 31% in February). However, ratings for NDP leader Alison Coffin have climbed 9 points over the past three months to 21% (up from 12% in May, shortly after she became leader of the party).
Thirteen percent of voters say they don’t know whom they prefer as premier, and 8% support none of the party 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 residents of Newfoundland and Labrador conducted from July 31 to August 25, 2019, with overall results accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.
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