Friday, September 6, 2013

Corporate Research Associates polls in Atlantic Canada

Every few months Corporate Research Associates releases numbers for all four Atlantic provinces.  The latest set of numbers show a new reality in the four provinces, for the first time the NDP are in second in all of the provinces.

I have been debating what this means with Teddy who blogs from time to time at Blunt Objects.

For most of the history of the four Atlantic provinces politics has been a two party race.  The current polling indicates this long term pattern may be fundamentally finished.

The first change came in 1998 in Nova Scotia when the NDP broke through and won 19 seats and just over a third of the vote.   In the next four elections Nova Scotia has seen three party races in each one.  The elections of 1998, 2003 and 2006 saw Nova Scotia elections end with minority governments.

2011 saw the next province change it's political dynamic.   Kathy Dunderdale had a convincing win in Newfoundland and Labrador but more importantly the NDP won a quarter of the vote setting the stage for three party politics in that province.

Corporate Research Associate Polling numbers for the last year for each province.
New Brunswick
Party     Aug '13 May '13 Feb '13 Nov '13 Aug '12 2011 elect
Liberals    47%     41%     35%     38%     32%     34.4%
NDP         24%     27%     26%     19%     24%     10.4%
PCs         23%     29%     32%     38%     38%     48.8%

Nova Scotia
Party     Aug '13 May '13 Feb '13 Nov '13 Aug '12 2009 elect
Liberals    41%     45%     39%     41%     41%     27.2%
NDP         31%     26%     32%     29%     31%     45.2%
PCs         25%     26%     24%     27%     22%     24.5%

Newfoundland and Labrador
Party     Aug '13 May '13 Feb '13 Nov '13 Aug '12 2011 elect
Liberals    41%     36%     22%     23%     21%     19.1%
NDP         33%     37%     39%     31%     33%     24.6%
PCs         26%     27%     38%     46%     45%     56.1%

Prince Edward Island
Party     Aug '13 May '13 Feb '13 Nov '13 Aug '12 2011 elect
Liberals    42%     52%     51%     45%     42%     51.4%
NDP         32%     21%     26%     22%     18%      3.2%
PCs         23%     22%     16%     28%     32%     40.2% 

In the federal elections we have seen the break down of the two party Atlantic Canada earlier than in the provinces.   In 2011 the NDP came second in three of the four Atlantic provinces which is up from two in 2008.   In 2000 the NDP came fourth in two provinces though because of Alexa Mcdonough the NDP was winning a few seats in the region.

The party that seems to be suffering the most are the PCs.  They are the government in two of the provinces but are in third in all four.   Their public support is only around a quarter of the public.   What I am seeing is a transition of support from the PCs to the Liberals but with a clear 1/4-1/3 of the the public no longer willing to choose either one. 

Only in PEI has the NDP support risen significantly over the last year, but with that rise the NDP is now a serious factor in all four provinces.   The fact they are in second in all four is a bit of a quirk of the results given that their lead in New Brunswick is a single point over the PCs.

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