This would be quite an event should the NDP win the government. I see that there are complaints about organised labour helping the NDP. The norm is for parties to cater to organised business. There seems to be a tendency for people who are not doing well in polls to dismiss them. However, those ahead often worry that doing well in the polls could make supporters complacent on election day and not bother to go to the polls. The old saw is right that the only poll that counts is on election day!
Nova Scotians set to vote NDP into power, poll suggests
MacDonald dismisses poll, says track record speaks for itself
Last Updated: Monday, June 1, 2009
Nova Scotians are ready to elect an NDP government for the first time in the province's history, a poll commissioned by CBC suggests.
The poll, which was released Monday, showed the New Democratic Party leading with 44 per cent of decided voters, trailed by the Liberal party at 28 per cent and the Progressive Conservative Party at 26 per cent. About two per cent of those surveyed supported the Green party.
About 33 per cent of people surveyed indicated they were either undecided, didn't know or didn't plan to vote in the June 9 provincial election.
Don Mills, president of Corporate Research Associates, which conducted the poll, said if the current trend continues, the New Democrats could be celebrating a week from Tuesday.
“We're looking at a change of government and it's going to be an NDP government,” Mills told CBC News.
If that were to happen, it would be the first time that the NDP has been elected to government in the Atlantic region.
'Earning every vote'
Matt Hebb, campaign strategist for the NDP, said the poll results confirm what the party has been hearing at the doorstep.
"When you're getting sign locations, new donors, new supporters, people getting involved with the campaign, you keep pushing your message," Hebb said. "You keep driving the campaign as hard as you can."
All the same, polls come and go, he added, so the party is focused on ensuring supporters get out to vote on June 9.
"We need to keep earning every vote — sort of one voter at a time in every riding in the province," Hebb said.
When compared with a CRA poll conducted earlier this month, support for the NDP has risen sharply to 44 per cent from 37 per cent.
“I think that there's a point of what I call capitulation in the province that said: 'You know something, we tried the other two parties for a long time. Now it's maybe time to give the NDP a chance,'" Mills said.
Among the people surveyed, 34 per cent said they would prefer NDP Leader Darrell Dexter to be the next premier of Nova Scotia, with Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil in second at 20 per cent and Tory Leader Rodney MacDonald in third place at 19 per cent.
About 47 per cent of people surveyed said they were either mostly or completely dissatisfied with the overall performance of the government led by MacDonald. Approximately 41 per cent indicated they were either mostly or completely satisfied with the MacDonald government.
NDP chosen as party with best vision for province's future
Those people surveyed for the poll consistently chose the NDP as the political party that:
Offers the best vision for the future of our province.
Best able to deal with issues in the health-care system.
Best able to deal with current economic problems.
Best able to maintain a balanced budget.
Best able to solve transportation problems.
Best able to deal with social problems including public safety and crime.
The Liberal Party placed second, the PC Party placed third and the Green Party in last place.
When asked which issue they considered to be the most important issue in the upcoming provincial election, the people surveyed in the poll chose:
Health-care funding: 37 per cent.
Dealing with current economic concerns: 33 per cent.
Education funding: 11 per cent.
Provincial debt: 7 per cent.
Leadership of the parties: 5 per cent.
Other: 4 per cent.
Don’t know/ no answer/none of the above: 3 per cent.
MacDonald stays positive
MacDonald dismisses the CRA survey, saying the only poll that counts is the one on election day. He said his track record speaks for itself.
"In 1999, a lot of people told me I couldn't win in Inverness, and we were successful. A lot of people said in 2003 that my predecessor's government was in trouble, and we were successful," MacDonald said Monday.
"When I entered the leadership race, I had many, many people across Nova Scotia including many, many in the media putting me off as the person that would be running third. Well, we proved them wrong."
The poll also showed that nearly half of the people surveyed — about 48 per cent — hold the Progressive Conservative party responsible for causing the provincial election.
Mills said with those figures, the Tories face an uphill battle to gain enough support to even place second in the provincial election.
“We have never seen an incumbent government with less than 50 per cent satisfaction get re-elected in more than 20 years of doing this work,” he said.
If there is a shift away from the NDP between now and the election, Mills said, the Liberals would be the only party poised to benefit.
If that happens, Mills said, the NDP would lead a minority government.
Liberals dismiss poll
Like MacDonald, Stephen McNeil shrugs off the CRA poll. He says his internal party polls tell him a different story, though he won't share his numbers.
"I've been talking to Liberal organizers around Nova Scotia involved with our central campaign, and it's been a long time that they've seen this much excitement from the Liberal organization with a real belief that they can win seats from one end of Nova Scotia to the other," said McNeil.
"At the end of June 9, that evening, we believe we'll be governing this province," he said.
A total of 836 Nova Scotians were polled by CRA between May 18 and May 30. The poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.