© Guardian file photo
Julia Ghiz, daughter of Premier Robert Ghiz, points to the direction Liberal support is heading in this photograph taken recently in the legislature.
Support for Premier Robert Ghiz’s Liberal government rebounded this quarter, according the latest Corporate Research Associates poll.
The Liberal party gained seven points since August, and now has the support of 49 per cent of decided voters in P.E.I.
Half of Islanders polled said they are satisfied with the performance of the Ghiz government – an increase in satisfaction of eight points.
A similar number of Islanders - 48 per cent - say they are dissatisfied.This dissatisfaction rate has dropped slightly since last quarter.
Don Mills, chairman and CEO of Corporate Research Associates (CRA), says he believes part of the Liberals’ gains are a rebound is from the drop they endured over the last few quarters due to the adoption of the HST.
The Liberals are also doing well at the expense of the Opposition Tories, Mills said.
“You have to look at what’s going on with the (Progressive) Conservative party, which continues to find ways to hurt itself, and it’s really struggling to get traction.”
This is the first poll since the PC Opposition caucus imploded in October after Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry crossed the floor to join the Liberals.
Interim PC Leader Steven Myers kicked former leader Olive Crane out of the Opposition caucus the very next day after she granted an unsanctioned interview to The Guardian.
Mills says these kinds of public spats never play well among the electorate.
“It doesn’t give people confidence that you’re a party ready to govern.”
Wednesday’s poll results shows the Tories have indeed lost support and continue to remain third behind the NDP, plunging this quarter to 17 per cent. That’s a six-point drop since August.
Myers is also in third place in personal popularity. Only 12 per cent of Islanders would prefer him has premier, down one point since last quarter.
The NDP, which saw its highest polling results ever last quarter, has also lost ground.
The party dropped by 6 percentage points and now stands at 26 per cent.
Leader Mike Redmond remains the second most popular leader, holding steady at 25 per cent.
Mills says he finds the NDP polling results interesting. If the party focuses the positive polling numbers it’s been getting for the last year into a few key ridings in the next election, Mills said he could see potential vote-splitting that could end up creating a minority government in P.E.I.
“I’m not saying the numbers are there right now today, but I am saying there is a possibility given the continuing support for the NDP and the struggles of the PCs, but between them they still have more than 50 per cent of the decided vote.”
The Green party saw a slight gain of four points and now sits at seven per cent. Leader Peter Bevan-Baker held steady at six per cent.
Premier Robert Ghiz remains the top choice of all party leaders in P.E.I. at 34 per cent, up from 31 per cent in August.
The number of Islanders who are undecided over their preferred party rests at 29 per cent compared with 25 per cent last quarter, while and unchanged five percent refuse to state a preference. Another six per cent support none of the parties or do not plan to vote.
These results are based on a sample of 302 adult Islanders, surveyed by telephone between Nov. 12 and Nov.27.
Overall results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 5.6 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.