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Support for three main P.E.I. political parties too close to call: MQO

A recent poll by MQO Research suggests support for the Liberal Party of P.E.I. has declined 20 points over the last two years, while support for the Greens has risen by 27 points. Support for the PCs has remained comparatively stable.
A recent poll by MQO Research suggests support for the Liberal Party of P.E.I. has declined 20 points over the last two years, while support for the Greens has risen by 27 points. Support for the PCs has remained comparatively stable. - Contributed

A new opinion poll suggests the result of P.E.I.’s next election might be a minority government.

The poll, conducted by MQO Research, found that all three major political parties in P.E.I. are almost neck-and-neck, with the Liberals and the Green Party in the lead with a virtual tie.

The poll, released on Monday, is based on conversations with 400 P.E.I. residents, contacted on both mobile and landlines.

It found the governing Liberal Party of P.E.I. continues to maintain a slight lead in public support at 34 per cent, with the Green Party gaining on it with 33 per cent. The PC Party is close behind at 29 per cent, while the NDP support is down to four per cent. A sizable number of those polled, at 34 per cent, reported they were undecided.

MQO's poll in May had the Liberals leading at 38 per cent public support, followed by the PCs at 29 per cent and the Greens at 26 per cent.

However, the margin of error for this month’s poll, at 4.9 per cent, almost accounts for the full range separating the three main parties.

“I would say it's a very tight race between the three parties," said MQO vice-president Stephen Moore.

“It is simply too close to call at this point.”


Public opinion of Island parties 

            July 2016           January 2017             July 2017        January 2018       July 2018

Lib        64%                  44%                              39%                  37%                      34%

PC        14%                  26%                              31%                  29%                      29%

Green    6%                   24%                              22%                  28%                     33%

NDP      16%                  6%                                7%                    6%                        4%

Source: MQO research


Related: Liberal support declines, tied with Greens in P.E.I. political poll

The poll suggests the increase in Green support may have come at the expense of both the NDP and the Liberals. Since May, the NDP have lost close to 3 percentage points of their support, while Liberal support dropped by 4 percentage points. Support for the PCs has remained constant, while the number of undecided voters dropped by one per cent.

Moore suggested the increase in Green support is largely coming from Islanders under the age of 55.

"Liberals and Greens are doing well amongst the female vote, Tories are struggling there. Males, it's a much tighter race amongst the three parties,” Moore said.

“If we look at the Green vote in age, what we can safely say is that support for the Green party declines as voters get older."

The results from MQO mirror a poll released by Corporate Research Associates in June. The CRA poll found public support for the Liberals at 34 per cent, Greens at 33 per cent and the PCs at 26 per cent.

The MQO poll also asked respondents about their “general outlook” of P.E.I.

Fifty-one per cent responded their outlook of P.E.I. has stayed the same, while 25 per cent said it was better and 20 per cent said it was worse.

Last May, when asked the same question, 56 per cent said their outlook was the same, while 21 per cent said it was better and 19 per cent said it was worse.

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