08 Mar 2018

Voter preference gap narrows between NS Liberals and PCs

  • The NS PC Party has narrowed the gap with the Liberals, with support for the government remaining at its lowest since the October 2013 election
  • Satisfaction with the performance of the provincial government has declined to its lowest level since the October 2013 election
  • Preference for Premier McNeil is now on par with interim leader Karla MacFarlane of the PC Party

HALIFAX, NS March 8, 2018: Support for the Nova Scotia Liberal Party is stable, but remains at its lowest level since the Liberals were elected in October 2013, according to the most recent survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates Inc. Specifically, just under four in ten decided voters support the Liberal Party (37%, compared with 38% in November 2017). Closing the gap with the governing Liberal Party, preference for the Progressive Conservative Party rests at 34 percent (compared with 29%), while one-quarter support the New Democratic Party (25%, compared with 27%), and four percent support the Green Party (compared with 5%).

The number of Nova Scotians who are undecided is stable and rests at 26 percent (compared with 28%), while four percent refuse to state a preference (compared with 6%), and another four percent either support none of these parties or do not plan to vote (compared with 6%).

Government satisfaction has declined to its lowest level under the current Liberal leadership, as four in ten Nova Scotians are satisfied with the performance of Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government (38%, down from 46% in November 2017). Meanwhile, nearly six in ten Nova Scotians are dissatisfied (56%, up from 47%), and six percent (compared with 7%) do not offer a definite opinion.

In terms of leader preference, one-quarter of Nova Scotians support Premier Stephen McNeil (27%, compared with 28% in November 2017). This represents the lowest level of support since Premier McNeil was elected in October 2013. Meanwhile, the gap between leaders is closing, as a similar number of residents prefer interim leader Karla MacFarlane of the PC Party (25%, compared with 21% for Jamie Baillie three months ago). Support for Gary Burrill of the NDP stands at 21 percent (compared with 18%), while preference for Thomas Trappenberg of the Green Party rests at four percent (unchanged), and backing for Ryan Smyth of the Atlantica Party is at less than one percent (compared with 1% for Jonathan Dean last quarter). Meanwhile, one in six (17%, compared with 19%) do not offer a definite opinion, and six percent prefer none of these leaders (6%, compared with 9%).

These results are part of the CRA Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent, quarterly telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a sample of 800 adult Nova Scotians, conducted from February 1 to March 4, 2018 with overall results accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

Corporate Research Associates (CRA), www.cra.ca, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. Founded in 1978, CRA is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. CRA is a Certified Gold Seal Member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA), which sets stringent standards as a condition of membership, and enforces those standards through independent audits. Follow us on Twitter @CRAInsight.


 For more information, please contact:

Don Mills, Chairman and CEO, at (902) 493-3838

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Amanda Bates