Premier Danny Williams's Tories hold a 60-point lead over the rival Liberals, a new poll shows. ((CBC))

Premier Danny Williams and his Progressive Conservatives hold an overwhelming lead heading into October's general election, a new poll suggests.

A Corporate Research Associates poll taken during August indicates the PCs have the support of 76 per cent of decided voters.

The poll— involving a sample of 806 adults— shows the Liberals have the support of 16 per cent, while the New Democrats trail at about seven per cent.

The poll indicates how difficult it will be for opposition parties to hold their own— let alone make gains— in the Oct. 9 general election.

CRA's latest poll also suggests that voter preferences are becoming entrenched. The August poll's findings aresimilar to the results of quarterly tracking polls conducted by the Halifax-basedcompany over the past year.

The poll, taken between Aug. 9 and Aug. 31, has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

During the polling period, Williams announced a tentative deal on developing the Hebron offshore oil field. In recent months, he has won strong support within the province for outspoken— often brash— conflicts with his opponents, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The new poll also shows voters strongly back Williams over other political leaders. Some 77 per cent of decided voters who responded to the poll identified Williams as their choice among the political leaders.

Liberal Leader Gerry Reid, by comparison, polled about nine per cent, while NDP Leader Lorraine Michael polled at six per cent.

Another question on the poll illustrates the difficulty that the Liberals and NDP will have in stealing seats from the PC column in October.

About 86 per cent of respondents said they were either mostly or completely satisfied with the overall performance of the government.

The PCs took office in 2003, after the Liberals held the government for 14 years.