New poll good news for Nova Scotia's Liberals

Published on March 6, 2014
Premier Stephen McNeil is this year's keynote speaker at the Burns night dinner later this month in Annapolis.
Heather Killen photo


A new public opinion poll has some good news for the new Liberal government, but the pollster behind the survey says the Grits can’t be complacent about it.

The latest quarterly poll from Corporate Research Associate shows 58 per cent of respondents are completely or mostly satisfied with the government’s overall performance, compared to 50 per cent in November.

Twenty per cent are mostly or completely dissatisfied, up from 12 per cent, and just eight per cent say it’s too soon to tell – a 17 per cent decrease.

CRA chair and CEO Don Mills said the Liberals are benefiting from the public optimism that usually follows a new government’s election – but warned it won’t last.

“Governments usually get a couple of quarters… and from now on there’ll be starting to be more expectations related to what actually will be done rather than hoping that things will change,” he said.

Half of all respondents named Stephen McNeil as their choice of premier, up from 46 per cent in November.

Fifteen per cent chose PC leader Jamie Baillie, down from 17 per cent, and 12 per cent named acting NDP leader Maureen MacDonald.

Mount Saint Vincent University associate professor Dr. Jeff McLeod agreed that the numbers aren’t surprising given that the new government hasn’t made any “aggressive” policy moves so far.

“One could argue that they’ve yet to be tested in terms of facing a major crisis or having to deal with the finances in a significant way that is uniquely their government, their party,” he said. “It’s still wait and see, no major problems yet, no major mistakes, no self-inflicted wounds.”

The CRA Atlantic Quarterly poll surveyed 801 adults in Nova Scotia between Feb. 10 and 28. The results are considered accurate to within 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.