The Nova Scotia election race tightens, with the PCs and NDP gaining momentum.

  • The race between the Liberals and PCs tightens in terms of decided voter support.
  • The gap in preference for premier narrows among the three main party leaders.
  • Support varies notably across the province, with NDP performing strongly in Metro.

August 11th, 2021

With the provincial election less than one week away, results suggest that the race has tightened among the three main parties. In terms of decided voter support, the gap between the Liberals and the PCs has narrowed, with support for the Liberals being at its lowest point in the past year. There is an unusually high level of undecided voter intentions (35%) with one week left in the election.

There are notable differences in decided voter support across regions, as well as in terms of age and gender. Across regions, Liberals and NDP are neck-and-neck among decided voters in HRM, ahead of the PCs, while the race is tight between the Liberals and PCs in the rest of mainland. In Cape Breton, the PCs hold the lead, ahead of the Liberals.

Voting intentions also vary by gender and age. Females are most likely to vote for the Liberals, followed by the NDP and then PCs. Meanwhile, males are most likely to vote for the PCs, followed by the Liberals and then NDP.  The Liberals and NDP are tied in terms of decided support among younger residents under the age of 35, with both ahead of the PCs. The middle age segment expresses mixed opinions, with Liberals leading by a small margin, while there is a close race between the Liberals and PCs among older residents aged 55 plus.

“Results indicate that there has been a shift in momentum and voting intentions,” said Margaret Brigley, Narrative Research’s CEO.  “With almost a week left before the election, the question is will that momentum continue?  If so, we could potentially see a change in government. Regardless, we could be looking at a minority government and the question at this point is which party will form that minority government.”

“One important variable that we will be watching is voter turnout. That’s important because each party has different support by age category, and turnout traditionally increases with age. The ground game for each of the parties will determine the outcome of the election. The lower the overall voter turnout, the greater the likelihood of an upset.”

There has been a narrowing in the gap for leadership preference, although Liberal Party leader Iain Rankin continues to be named the preferred choice for Premier. 

In the experience of our company, we have never seen a government NOT re-elected when it enjoys performance satisfaction levels over 50%. The government currently has satisfaction levels at 61%.

“Given the unusual times, performance assessment of government is likely strongly linked to the government’s handling of the pandemic,” said Margaret Brigley. “Given our unusual times, this might not be as an important measure when satisfaction is not related to more broad-based performance, but rather more likely based on a single issue.” 

These results are part of Narrative Research’s Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent, quarterly telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are drawn from an overall sample of 540 adult Nova Scotians, conducted from July 27 to August 9, 2021, with overall results accurate to within ±4.2 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

Narrative Research,, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. As a non-partisan company, 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 (O)

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