07 Mar 2006

Good First Impression of New Premier

HALIFAX: The PCs now enjoy a clear edge in voter support over the other two provincial parties, according to the most recent survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates Inc. Presently, the ruling PCs have the support of close to four in ten (36%, compared with 35%) residents, while the Liberals have the backing of approximately one-quarter (27%, down from 31% in November 2005) of decided residents. Three in ten (29%, compared with 28%) residents prefer the provincial NDP.  Eight percent (compared with 7%) of decided voters state they support none of these parties, do not plan to vote, or favour others, while the number of residents who are undecided or refuse to state a preference is down 5 percentage points and stands at 30 percent.

Backing for the NDP remains highest in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) (38%), with the Liberals performing best in Cape Breton (39%).  The Conservatives, meanwhile, receive the highest level of support in mainland Nova Scotia outside of HRM (44%).

The level of satisfaction with the ruling Conservative minority government has changed appreciably in the past three months, with Nova Scotians considerably less likely to express dissatisfaction in the wake of the election of a new PC leader.  Presently, more than six in ten Nova Scotians are completely (6%, compared with 7% three months ago) or mostly (58%, up from 53%) satisfied with the overall performance of the provincial government.  Close to two in ten (16%, down from 33%) are dissatisfied, while two in ten (20%, up from 8%) do not offer a definite opinion at this time.

Rodney MacDonald was elected leader of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party on February 11, 2006.  Backing for MacDonald as the new Premier stands at 36 percent (compared with 20% who preferred the next leader of the PCs in November 2005).  Approximately one-quarter (23%, compared with 25% three months ago) of Nova Scotians prefer NDP leader Darrell Dexter, while close to two in ten (16%, compared with 19%) support Liberal leader Francis MacKenzie.  Approximately two in ten Nova Scotians (22%, down from 28%) are undecided in terms of leader preference, while the remainder prefer none of these leaders or name another person (3%, down from 9%).

These results are part of the CRA Atlantic Quarterly, an independent, quarterly survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a sample of 802 Nova Scotians conducted from February 16 to March 3, 2006, with results accurate to within 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

For more information, please contact: Don Mills, President and CEO at (902) 421-1336.

CRA Atlantic Quarterly – Winter 2006
Nova Scotia Political Results

Sample: 802 Nova Scotians (18 years plus)
Interview Dates: February 16 to March 3, 2006
Margin of Sampling Error: ±3.5 percentage points (95% confidence level)

How satisfied are you with the overall performance of the provincial government led by Premier John Hamm/Rodney MacDonald?*

February 2005May 2005August 2005November 2005February 2006
Completely satisfied5%5%4%7%6%
Mostly satisfied64%56%49%53%58%
Mostly dissatisfied19%25%26%23%11%
Completely dissatisfied6%8%11%10%5%
Don’t know/No answer/Neither6%7%9%8%20%

*Rodney MacDonald was sworn in as Premier on February 24, 2006 If a provincial election were held today in Nova Scotia, for which party would you vote?

PartyFebruary 2005May 2005August 2005November 2005February 2006
PC Party38%36%31%35%36%
Liberal Party30%27%26%31%27%
NDP24%30%32%28%29%
None/Do not pan to vote/Other7%7%12%7%8%
TOTAL DECIDED VOTE99% 100% 101%101% 100%
Undecided33%36%35%35%30%

Which one of the following individuals would you most prefer as Premier of Nova Scotia?

LeaderFebruary 2005May 2005August 2005November 2005February 2006
John Hamm/Next leader/Rodney MacDonald38%34%29%20%36%
Darrell Dexter23%28%26%25%23%
Francis MacKenzie21%18%17%19%16%
None/Other5%3%6%9%3%
Don’t know/No answer13%16%21%28%22%

Amanda Bates