The latest Abacus Data poll says Tory Leader Ches Crosbie has a slight edge over Liberal Leader Dwight Ball, with eight days left to election day.
The poll, released Wednesday morning, says the Tories have 33 per cent support among all voters, an edge over the Liberals at 29 per cent. The New Democratic Party, with 14 candidates in the race, see 12 per cent support. The Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance is not specifically mentioned in the poll, but the “other” category sits at four per cent. The polling period was May 2 to May 5.
Undecideds remain a large factor, according to the poll, with 21 per cent of respondents saying they haven’t made up their mind just yet.
Despite the numbers, the poll says most voters feel as though the Liberals will still win on polling day, with 53 per cent saying they expect another term for Premier Dwight Ball, while 30 per cent say it’s Crosbie’s time.
Abacus says they found 67 per cent of voters believe now is a time for change. To break it down, 48 per cent say it’s definitely time for a change, while 19 per cent say change could be good.
“For comparison purposes, at the start of the 2018 Ontario election, 60% of voters felt it was definitely time for a change in government while 59% felt the same way at the start of the 2015 federal election,” reads the poll.
“Dwight Ball and the Liberals face headwinds in their quest for another term but they don’t seem as strong as those faced by recent governments who ultimately were defeated.”
The economy and jobs are the biggest issue for 31 per cent of respondents to the poll, with healthcare being called the biggest issue by 18 per cent of voters.
The poll says 53 per cent of respondents believe the province is moving in the wrong direction, the majority of those opinions held by Tory and NDP supporters. Liberal supporters tend to think the province is going in the right direction, making up 33 per cent of the vote.
“When asked which party is best able to deal with the issue they think is most important, the PCs and Liberals were close among those who said the economy and jobs was the top issue,” reads the poll.
“The Liberals lead among those who care about health care while the PCs have an advantage among those concerned most about the province’s finances.”
Election day is on May 16.
Disclaimer: The telephone survey was conducted with 700 eligible voters in Newfoundland and Labrador between May 2 to 5, 2019. 65% of interviews were conducted on cell phones while 35% were conducted on landlines. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3.8%, 19 times out of 20. The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Newfoundland and Labrador’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.