Liberal support continues to drop: latest CRA poll

The latest Corporate Research Associates poll shows a drop in support for the governing Liberals, gains for the New Democratic Party and virtually no change for the Tories.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 10 to Aug. 31.

Forty per cent of Islanders polled said they are completely satisfied or mostly satisfied with the provincial government led by Premier Robert Ghiz. That compares to 63 per cent in August 2011, a drop of 23 percentage points.

Don Mills, chairman and CEO of CRA, said a drop shouldn't be unexpected.

"We see a lot of governments in the same situation where they're facing some tough fiscal decisions and making some tough decisions,' said Mills, "and it's not popular to make tough decisions."

When asked who they would vote for if an election was held today, 42 per cent of people polled said they would vote Liberal. That compares to 59 per cent in August of last year, which was just before the provincial election.

In this poll, 18 per cent of decided voters said they would vote NDP, an increase of 11 percentage points over the same poll last year.

Thirty-two per cent say they would cast a vote for the Progressive Conservatives, only a slight increase over the same poll last year.

Support for the Green Party more than doubled in the past year, now sitting at eight per cent.

Mills said despite the Liberal party's drop, it doesn't seem the official Opposition, the Conservative party, has benefited.

"The beneficiary has surprisingly been the NDP," said Mills.

As for who the public would prefer as premier, Robert Ghiz was the top choice among 33 per cent of those polled, a drop of 13 percentage points over last August. Olive Crane was the choice of 24 per cent, two percentage points higher than last August.

The next leader of the NDP was the choice of 11 per cent of those polled. That's an eight percentage point increase over August of last year.

"It's interesting if you look at the numbers, the leaderless NDP party have actually gained support for their lack of leader, I guess, compared to the other two parties. One of the things that we are seeing, which is interesting, is the rise of the NDP party across the region," Mills said.

"We might be seeing the beginning — and it's probably going to happen last in P.E.I. — the beginning of a true three party system, much as we have in Nova Scotia."

Andrew Want, the interim leader for the NDP, says the party's rise is not that surprising.

"We're becomming better organized and better at getting our message out there," said Want.

There was also an increase for the leader of the Green Party.

Three hundred islanders were surveyed for the poll. It is considered accurate to within 5.7 percentage points, 95 times out of 100.