NL Liberals lead by 15 over PCs. Dunderdale’s resignation not improving PC fortunes yet.

pdf-icon-transparent-background2According to a new VOCM-Abacus Data random telephone survey of 500 eligible voters in Newfoundland and Labrador, the NL Liberals hold a 15-point lead over the PC Party among committed voters (Liberal 49% vs. PC 34%) with the NDP well back in third at 15%.  The survey was conducted after the resignation of Premier and PC Party Leader Kathy Dunderdale on January 22, 2014.

Among all respondents, 22% said they were undecided while 2% said they would not vote.

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Liberals ahead in all regions of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Liberal Party leads in all regions of the province.  On the Avalon Peninsula and in St. John’s, the Liberals have a 14-point lead over the PCs among committed voters.  The Liberals have the support of 47% of committed voters compared to 33% for the PCs and 17% for the NDP.

In Eastern and Central Newfoundland, the Liberals lead by 16-points with 51% of committed voter support compared with 35% for the PCs and 13% for the NDP.

And in Western Newfoundland and Labrador, the Liberals lead by 15-points, with 49% of committed voters supporting the Liberals compared with 34% for the PCs and 15% for the NDP.

Only four in ten past PC supporters are currently supporting the PCs

When we compare current vote intention with how voters said they voted in the 2011 provincial election, the Progressive Conservative Party has the support of 41% of its former supporters.  Twenty-eight percent (28%) of former PC supporters now say they would vote Liberal while 24% said they are undecided.   Three percent of former PC supporters said they would now vote NDP.

Insights from Abacus Data

The resignation of Premier Dunderdale does not seem to have made much difference for PC Party support in the province.  The PCs still trail the Liberals by a wide margin provide-wide and in all regions of the province.  The Liberals lead among men and women and among all age groups and are well positioned.

However, the choice for the next PC leader will be critical.  The only silver lining in these numbers for the PCs is the fact that 24% of its former supporters are undecided.  This means that there is room for growth and the next leader has an opportunity to rebuild Tory support in the province.  If 80% of those former PC voters who are now undecided come back and vote PC, the Tories would be neck and neck with the Liberals.

The numbers also spell trouble for the NL NDP.  The NDP has lost more than half of its former support with 31% of former NDP supporters saying they will now vote Liberal and 13% voting PC.  Another 15% are undecided about their current vote preference.

Methodology

The random live-interview telephone survey commissioned by VOCM was conducted with 500 eligible voters living in Newfoundland and Labrador.  The survey was completed from January 27 to 30, 2014.

The margin of error for a probability-based random sample of 500 respondents using a probability sample is +/- 4.5%, 19 times out of 20.

The data was statistically weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched population of Newfoundland and Labrador.  The tables within this report detail the weighted and unweighted counts for the sample.

Note the small sample sizes when reviewing results in subgroups.