Don Mills talks to the Georgetown Conference – Rural Redefined delegates Oct. 4 in Georgetown, P.E.I. – Jennifer Hoegg, TC Media
By Jennifer Hoegg
The economy is doing in Nova Scotia’s NDP government, Atlantic Canada’s leading pollster’s said Friday.
Speaking at the Georgetown Conference in eastern Prince Edward Island, Corporate Research Associates’ Don Mills said Darrell Dexter’s party will lose the Oct. 8 election - not because they’ve done a bad job, but because the economic conditions have been so poor.
“Yes, it looks like they will lose,” Mills said after his Oct. 4 presentation.
“People are generally unhappy with their personal circumstance and they blame government for not being able to solve their problems,” he said. “If you go four years and a lot of people don’t have wage increases, they look around and say, ‘am I better off than I was in 2008?’ Most people have to say ‘no.’”
Mills’ firm’s polling numbers have been showing the popularity of Stephen McNeil’s Liberals running as high as 57 per cent during the campaign, with the NDP in a distant second and Jamie Baillie’s Progressive Conservatives in third.
Mills said he is “pretty confident” in his polling numbers, which is from a sample across Nova Scotia.
According to the CRA/Chronicle Herald poll on voter intentions that was updated Oct. 4, the Liberals have 52 per cent of decided voters, the NDP 29 per cent and the PCs 17 per cent.
“We’ve seen (Liberal support) fall down,” Mill said. “And most of what they’ve lost has been split with the other two parties. It’s not that one party is coming on. Both parties are making up some ground at the expense of the Liberals.
“That was almost completely predictable,” he added. “It was just too high.”
However, he pointed out, the NDP won a majority government in 2009 with 45 per cent of the vote and McNeil is polling very high compared to the past few decades of provincial elections.
“The last time Buchanan won with more than 50 per cent,” Mill said.
“I felt, all along, that those numbers were abnormally high and probably couldn’t stand up to the course of the election, especially with the other two parties attacking the Liberals.”
He said the undecided, currently running about 15 per cent, “are immaterial – they don’t vote or they vote along the lines of the decided.”