Nfld. & Labrador

Steve Kent favoured for PC leadership, suggests Abacus poll

A new poll puts Steve Kent in first place among four possible leaders for the Progressive Conservative party.
PC MHA Steve Kent is the party and the province's favoured choice for new party leader, according to a new poll. (CBC)

A new poll puts Steve Kent in first place among four possible leaders of the Progressive Conservative party.

An Abacus Data survey of 600 voters conducted for VOCM asked questions about Kent, former minister John Ottenheimer, lawyer Ches Crosbie and former minister Dave Brazil.

Kent is the top choice among party supporters for leader: 35 per cent to Ottenheimer's 24 and Crosbie's 14 per cent. Twenty-four percent of PC supporters said they were undecided.

For the province as a whole, 22 per cent would opt for Kent, with 19 per cent choosing Ottenheimer, 14 per cent Crosbie and three per cent Brazil — and forty-two percent of respondents were undecided.

Ottenheimer says he's considering another run at the PC Leadership. (CBC)

Among the other results:

  • Kent is viewed positively by one in four N.L. residents, but just as many, 25 per cent. say they have a negative impression of him — the highest percentage among the four. Among PC supporters, 41 per cent view Kent positively, 14 per cent negatively, and 45 per cent are neutral.
  • Ottenheimer is viewed positively by 28 per cent and negatively by 12 per cent of N.L. residents. His positive support among PC supporters mirrors Kent's at 41 per cent, with eight per cent viewing him negatively.
  • Crosbie is viewed positively by 21 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and negatively by 18 per cent. Among party supporters, 30 per cent have a positive impression versus 13 per cent with a negative one.
  • Three-quarters of the province is neutral on Brazil, with 10 per cent of people viewing him positively and 15 per cent negatively. Among PC supporters, it's an even split of 15 per cent positive impressions and 15 per cent negative.

The online/telephone survey was conducted from Oct. 20-27 with 604 voters in the province. Three-hundred interviews were done with a random telephone sampling, with the remainder done online with panelists recruited from Leger's research panel.

The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.