Premier Brian Gallant's Liberals still hold a comfortable lead over the other political parties in New Brunswick, according to a new poll, which suggests no statistically significant change in voter intention over the last quarterly results.
About 47 per cent of decided voters surveyed said they support the Liberals, up slightly from 46 per cent in May, while 32 per cent back the Progressive Conservatives, down from 33 per cent, the survey by Corporate Research Associates shows.
Voter satisfaction with government performance remains stable one year before the next provincial election, the poll released on Tuesday morning suggests, with 52 per cent of respondents satisfied, compared to 53 per cent three months ago.
Thirty-nine per cent of respondents said they are dissatisfied, down from 41 per cent, while nine per cent offered no opinion, up from seven per cent.
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Gallant also remains the preferred premier, according to the poll. His popularity jumped to 36 per cent from 31 per cent, while support for PC Leader Blaine Higgs as premier dipped to 20 per cent from 23 per cent, widening Gallant's lead from eight points to 16 points.
Corporate Research Associates conducted the telephone survey from Aug. 8 to Sept. 6 using a sample of 809 adult New Brunswickers.
The survey results come on the heels of a cabinet shuffle last week that saw Gallant drop three senior ministers and appoint himself the regional minister for Saint John and southwest New Brunswick, despite his having no particular connection to the area, signaling his strategy for winning a second mandate.
The New Democratic Party ranked third among surveyed voters, at 12 per cent, up from 11 per cent, with the Green Party at seven per cent, compared to six per cent, and the People's Alliance two per cent, compared to three per cent, according to the results released Tuesday morning,
Thirty per cent of respondents said they were undecided, six per cent refused to state their preference and four per cent either support none of the parties or do not plan to vote.
New NDP leader gains support
Preference for Green Party Leader David Coon as premier remains unchanged at 11 per cent, while newly elected NDP Leader Jennifer McKenzie is backed by seven per cent of respondents, compared to five per cent for interim leader Rosaire L'Italien in May. Two per cent said they would prefer Kris Austin of the People's Alliance of New Brunswick as premier, down from five per cent.
Three per cent of those polled said they prefer none of the leaders, compared to five per cent during the last poll. Twenty per cent did not "offer a definite opinion," the polling company said.
The overall results are accurate within plus or minus 3.4 per cent, 95 times out of 100, CRA said.