This is from the Star Phoenix. Although it does not look good for the NDP there is certainly no rout because in the two large cities the NDP is still ahead. There are also a large number of undecided as yet. Much of the Sask Party vote is in rural areas where the NDP seems to have lost out entirely except perhaps for the north. I would hazard a guess that the Sask. Party will get a majority and quite possibly a substantial but I would be glad to be wrong!
Tuesday » October 30 » 2007
Sask. Party has commanding lead in poll
Numbers show Wall headed for majority
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
REGINA -- A new poll released Monday shows a whopping Saskatchewan Party lead and a mood for change in the province as election day on Nov. 7 looms.
The poll, conducted for the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association by Probe Research Inc. on Oct. 25 and 26, shows the Sask. Party with the support of 50 per cent of decided voters compared to 35 per cent for the NDP and 10 per cent for the Liberals.
The one bright spot for the NDP is that it continues to hold its traditional, if in this case narrowed, lead in urban areas -- 45 per cent over the Sask. Party's 37 per cent and the Liberals' 12 per cent in Saskatoon and Regina combined.
While a majority Sask. Party government appears to be on the horizon, the NDP's continued life in the two cities means the seat count could still be relatively close. Saskatoon and Regina account for 23 out of the 58 seats in the legislature, 20 of which are held by the NDP.
In the area outside the two cities, the Sask. Party holds a commanding lead of 61 per cent to the NDP's 26 per cent and the Liberals' nine per cent.
Probe Research president Scott MacKay said it's a mug's game predicting how his poll numbers would translate into seats, but the 10-point swing between the NDP and Saskatchewan Party since the last election is bad news for Lorne Calvert's party.
"The numbers are huge for the Sask. Party outside of the two major cities. They don't need many seats to win a majority," said MacKay from Winnipeg.
In 2003, the NDP won 44 per cent of the popular vote and 30 seats while the Saskatchewan Party took 39 per cent of the vote and 28 seats.
The NDP holds 10 seats in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Yorkton, Meadow Lake, The Battlefords, Saskatchewan Rivers and the two northern constituencies of Athabasca and Cumberland.
The poll was based on 600 telephone interviews conducted on Oct. 25 and 26. The margin of error is four per cent and the results can be considered accurate 19 times out of 20.
When the numbers are broken down further between urban and rural voters, the margin of error increases to six per cent, said MacKay.
The poll shows 31 per cent of respondents either undecided or unwilling to state their preference.
MacKay said 21 per cent of respondents are undecided, which is high for this late in the campaign.
"Certainly in the last week, you expect to see those numbers going down to 10 per cent, and we're still at 21, so we're still kind of high," he said.
Of the poll's respondents, 54 per cent said it was time for a change while 26 per cent said the NDP deserved to be re-elected. There were 20 per cent undecided.
Sask. Party Leader Brad Wall was picked as the best choice for premier by 37 per cent of respondents, compared to 25 per cent for Calvert and 12 per cent for Liberal Leader David Karwacki.
Nancy Heppner, the Saskatchewan Party candidate and incumbent MLA for Martensville, said the poll was good news and the party expected to pick up seats in Regina and Saskatoon based on those numbers.
"I think people are responding positively to the Saskatchewan Party and to our platform and our numbers are actually rising in the cities," she said.
But Kevin Yates, the NDP candidate and incumbent MLA for Regina Dewdney, took heart that his party remained strong in the cities and what he said was the small sample size of the poll.
"It does indicate we have to continue to work harder to win the respect and support for the people of Saskatchewan over the next week or so," he said.
Liberal spokesperson Michel Liboiron, whose party has repeatedly said it expects a Sask. Party victory, said the dynamics of local races aren't reflected in the poll but there are lessons to be learned from it.
"The Saskatchewan Party is going to form the next government by all accounts. The NDP's vote is bleeding, their support is soft, and we have to get the organization on the ground that will capitalize in those sort of key ridings we have put our resources in," he said.
© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2007
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