Nfld. & Labrador

Muskrat Falls support high, coalition's poll finds

A group advocating for development of Muskrat Falls has released a poll showing that most people support the hydroelectric project.

Two of three respondents back hydroelectric project, commissioned poll shows

A group advocating for development of Muskrat Falls has released a public opinion poll showing that most people in Newfoundland and Labrador support the hydroelectric project.

Businessman Peter Woodward said the CRA poll his group commissioned shows strong support for Muskrat Falls. (CBC )

The coalition I Believe in the Power of N.L. commissioned Corporate Research Associates — which is best known in the province for quarterly tracking polls of voter intentions — to carry out a poll on the controversial $7.4-billion plan to develop power on the Churchill River.

The poll, conducted last Wednesday and Thursday, found that 66 per cent of respondents supported "the development of Muskrat Falls to meet the future power needs of Newfoundland and Labrador." [Read tables of the results of CRA specific questions here.]

The poll, however, had a sample size of 400 adults, meaning that it has a margin of error of 4.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20 — significantly higher than a conventional tracking poll, which involves a sample twice as large.

I Believe in the Power of N.L., a coalition of business and municipal leaders who back the Newfoundland and Labrador government's plan to development Muskrat Falls, said the results are still significant.

"Let's have the courage to do the right thing. It's time for Muskrat Falls," Happy Valley-Goose Bay businessman Peter Woodward, a leader of the coalition, said in a statement.

When undecided respondents and those who did not know or offer an answer were filtered out, the support for Muskrat Falls appeared to be stronger.

CRA found that 81 per cent of people with opinions on Muskrat Falls support the project. Of those, 34 per cent said they "strongly" support the project.

By contrast, 10 per cent said they mostly oppose the project, while nine per cent strongly oppose it.