All three parties in Newfoundland and Labrador have found good news in the latest public opinion poll, although the Tories and NDP admit they have serious work to do before the next election.
While the Corporate Research Associates poll showed the Liberals continue to hold a commanding lead over their rivals for voter preference, the Tories have rebounded strongly in the last year in terms of satisfaction with the government.
"When people are satisfied with your performance, I think they're ... prepared to take a look and maybe they'll vote for us," Premier Tom Marshall told reporters.
CRA, which surveyed 800 adults in May, found that 64 per cent of voters were satisfied with the provincial government's performance. That's double the 32 per cent finding of a poll conducted one year ago.
Marshall, who outpaced his own party in public support, said the party is well positioned for July, when Corner Brook businessman Frank Coleman takes over both the PC leadership and premier's office.
"Obviously we're going through a transition here," Marshall said. "There's going to be a new leader here for the party who I know and have a high regard for. People don't know him yet but they will and when they do I think they're going to be pleased."
Liberal lead stabilizes
Liberal Leader Dwight Ball said he was pleased to see that the poll showed the Liberal lead had widened slightly over the last quarterly poll.
"The polls have been very stable for the last six, seven months for us," he said.
"We hear this every day, that people are ready for change and the voting preference for a party now is with the Liberals."
Ball added that the party is having a significantly easier time finding candidates for the next election, which will have to be held within 12 months of Coleman becoming premier.
The NDP made a slight gain in the latest poll, but still trails the other parties.
Leader Lorraine Michael blames the damage done last fall, when MHAs Christopher Mitchelmore and Dale Kirby defected from the caucus amid their complaints that Michael is inflexible in her leadership.
"Well, I think it's all a very short period of time. And I'm looking long term, and we will keep our eye on the election and keep working towards that," Michael said.