Poll shows Lib­er­als top choice

Num­bers from MQO Re­search show pro­vin­cial Lib­er­als have stopped the bleed­ing af­ter months of drop­ping sup­port

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY RYAN ROSS Ryan.Ross@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/ryan­r­ross

With pro­vin­cial Lib­eral sup­port drop­ping over the last year, re­cent poll num­bers don’t sug­gest a cri­sis, but they are some­thing the Lib­er­als are go­ing to need to ad­dress, says a UPEI po­lit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor.

Those poll num­bers from MQO Re­search still have the Lib­er­als in the lead with the sup­port of 39 per cent of de­cided and lean­ing vot­ers, but that’s down from 64 per cent a year ago.

UPEI pro­fes­sor

Don Desserud said the Lib­er­als will try to ra­tio­nal­ize the num­bers as some­thing pos­i­tive, but deep down they’re go­ing to be wor­ried.

“They’re go­ing to say, ‘OK, we have to start get­ting con­trol of the story and turn­ing this around’,” Desserud said.

Lib­eral sup­port lev­elled off in the July poll and stayed at the same 39 per cent mark as in April af­ter sev­eral months of steady de­clines.

While the Lib­er­als re­main the top choice, the PC Party was next at 31 per cent of de­cided or lean­ing vot­ers, fol­lowed by the Green party at 22 per cent.

The NDP was last at seven per cent. Desserud said the Lib­er­als will take com­fort in the fact they are still lead­ing, but they must be con­cerned about the big drop in sup­port from last year.

For the PC Party, Desserud said they must be happy with the num­bers and won­der­ing if they would be bet­ter with a per­ma­nent leader.

“It’s ob­vi­ously bet­ter than it was be­fore, which means that peo­ple are start­ing to look at the (Pro­gres­sive) Con­ser­va­tive Party care­fully,” he said.

Desserud said the num­bers are ex­cel­lent for the Green party, but they

aren’t at the thresh­old of around 30 per cent that trans­lates into seats.

“They’ve got a lit­tle ways to go, but that’s the prob­lem the smaller par­ties have un­der our sys­tem.”

“They’re go­ing to say, ‘OK, we have to start get­ting con­trol of the story and turn­ing this around’.’’ UPEI pro­fes­sor Don Desserud

The poll also asked re­spon­dents to rate Premier Wade MacLauch­lan’s over­all per­for­mance on a scale of one to 10, with one be­ing the weak­est.

Of those who re­sponded, 60 per cent rated him be­tween one and five.

That was in con­trast to Oc­to­ber 2016 when 35 per cent gave him a rat­ing of five or lower.

Desserud said the premier is al­ways the fo­cus of at­ten­tion and the pub­lic sees any­thing that is go­ing wrong as his fault.

“What they’ll be wor­ried about is the trend and whether this is go­ing to get worse,” he said.

MacLauch­lan

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