Sunday, October 2, 2011

Latest Polling in Newfoundland and Labrador

MarketQuest Omnifacts Research has a new poll out for Newfoundland and Labrador and it shows a very steady level of support for the PCs but a major shift in the opposition.  

Headline results

  • PCs 54%
  • NDP 33%
  • Liberals 13%

Before May of this year, the NDP was a clearly a minor third party in the province.   In six months the NDP has displaced the Liberals on the Rock with this latest poll making it very clear it is the NDP that is the opposition to the PCs and not the Liberals.

The NDP has   years had a very low level of support in the province and never managed to win more than 2 seats in any election or get more than 14.4% of the vote.

  • 1975   4.35% 0 seats
  • 1979   7.8%  0 seats
  • 1982   3.7%  0 seats
  • 1985  14.4%  1 seat
  • 1989   4.4%  0 seats
  • 1993   7.4%  1 seat
  • 1996   4.45% 1 seat
  • 1999   8.23% 2 seats
  • 2003   6.86% 2 seats
  • 2007   8.49% 1 seat

The level of support for the party now is unprecedented and enough of an increase that the model of predicting what they will win based on the last election falls apart.   The NDP is also running a full slate this time, which I think is the first time for them.   Without a full slate in the past to judge against, it is hard to see where the support may or may not be.   The best guide is likely the sort of results one would have seen from past elections where the main opposition managed to get 1/3 of the vote.

If we look at the 2003 election for a guide:

  • PC 58.7% 34 seats
  • Lib 33.2% 12 seats
  • NDP 6.9% 2 seats

Here we can see the Liberals are around the support levels of the NDP in this election, though they were the government going into the election and therefore had incumbency to allow them to win more seats than otherwise.

The NDP level of support is not far short of the PCs in 1996 or the Liberals in 1985 and 1982.   Using these three elections along with 2003 as guides, it is realistic to see the NDP winning between 6 and 10 seats.

Seats the NDP has a chance in, in no order:

  • Signal Hill Quidi Vidi - currently held by the party
  • St John's Centre
  • St John's East 
  • Bellevue
  • Burin Placentia West
  • Placentia St Mary's
  • Port de Greve
  • Bay of Islands
  • Burgeo La Poile
  • Grand Falls Windsor Buchans
  • Grand Falls Windsor Green Bay South
  • Lewisport
  • St Barbe
  • The Isles of Notre Dame
  • The Straits White Bay North
  • Labrador West
  • Lake Melville

While I do not have regional break out of numbers, my sense is that rural areas on Rock are the most vulnerable to the NDP winning.

The Liberal fall in support would say to me that they will be lucky to hold two seats.   They are not helped by the fact that two of their MHAs are not running for re-election.  I suspect that they are likely only to win Kevin Alyward's seat and retain Yvonne Jones's seat of Cartwright L'Anse au Clair.

My prediction of the election:

  • PCs 38 seats
  • NDP 8 seats
  • Liberals 2 seats
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