Nfld. & Labrador

Moving on up: N.L. Liberal support on rebound, says MQO poll

Despite a growing economic uncertainty, the provincial Liberals moved into first place among voters surveyed by one polling company in October.

October opinion poll shows Liberal support at 40 per cent, up 10 points from July

Public opinion of Dwight Ball has improved slightly from his very low approval ratings over the summer. (CBC)

The governing Liberal party is showing 40 per cent support among decided and leaning voters — up 10 points from previous polling in July, and in first place — according to an opinion poll done in October.

The quarterly political poll by MQO Research showed the Progressive Conservative party has slipped six points into second place, with 31 per cent approval among decided and leaning voters.

The New Democratic Party dropped six points as well to round out the bottom with 27 per cent. But the percentage of undecided voters is up – jumping from 24 per cent of voters in July to 31 per cent in October. 

When it comes to overall leadership, Premier Dwight Ball is still unpopular, just a little less so. His approval rating was 3.9 [on a scale of one to 10] compared with 3.2 in July. More than 75 per cent of voters continue to rate his performance at a five or lower. 

Still stressed 

The rise in popularity for the Liberals and their leader comes after a steady decline all year, and the public's view of the provincial economy remains fairly pessimistic. 

While economic indicators were up in October, more than 60 per cent of respondents felt the economy is only getting worse. 

People surveyed were also more concerned about their personal situations, with 65 per cent reporting a "high level of concern" about the cost of living, rating it as eight or higher on a 10-point scale — an increase of six percentage points since the summer — with 30 per cent saying their general stress level was an eight or higher. 

The Atlantic Matters poll showed high approval ratings for Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberal party. (Thierry Monasse/Associated Press)

It's a rosier picture for the federal Liberals. 

That government had a six percentage point improvement to 72 per cent voter support since April 2016. Federal Conservative support was steady at 15 per cent, while support for the NDP dipped from 18 per cent to 12.

The Atlantic Matters poll was conducted over the phone from Oct. 18 to Oct. 22 with 600 randomly selected eligible voters from across Newfoundland and Labrador. The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points 19 times out of 20.