P.E.I. PCs gain support in poll as opposition down

The P.E.I. PC Party is gaining support after taking government, according to a poll released Wednesday morning.

PCs up 11%, Greens fall 6%, Liberals down 3%

The poll was conducted between July 31 and Aug. 6, a few weeks after the spring legislative session closed. (Brian McInnis/CBC)

The P.E.I. PC Party has gained support since taking government, according to a poll released Wednesday morning.

The MQO Atlantic Matters poll has the Tories in front among decided and leaning voters jumping 11 percentage points since a pre-election poll in April.

  • Progressive Conservative: 40%.
  • Green Party: 34%.
  • Liberal Party: 23%.
  • NDP: 2%.

The poll found 26 per cent of Islanders were undecided.

The Green Party took a hit as the Official Opposition dropping six percentage points.

The Liberals fell three percentage after being reduced from government to third-party status and the NDP's support is relatively unchanged.

MQO Research spoke with 400 Islanders by phone to gauge the political taste in the province.

The poll was conducted between July 31 and Aug. 6, a few weeks after the spring legislative session closed, suggesting Islanders liked what they saw from the minority government.

The margin of error among decided voters is 5.6 percentage points.

Honeymoon period

"Following the campaign Premier King is enjoying a honeymoon with voters," said Stephen Moore, vice president of MQO Research.

"The Tory gains will ... at least provide a period of political stability as the party is navigating their new minority government."

Moore said the PCs are gaining and that support has to come from somewhere, and that could be a factor in the Opposition Party's six percentage point drop.

"People are showing some signs of appreciating the approach the new government is taking. Simply the support has to come from somewhere. And they may be Green voters who were previously Tory voters deciding to go give their support back to the sitting premier," Moore said.

Figuring out minority government

He said parties are "just trying to get their feet under them" with the minority government.

With the Liberals falling in support yet again, Moore said the party has to decide what districts and regions it can make the most gains in.

"Really, the question for the Liberals is something that they themselves will have to answer, but who will be the target of their criticism from the opposition benches?" Moore said.

Moore said most people's support for a political party is driven by leadership.

Because the Liberals have an interim leader, Moore said, it will be easier to draw conclusions about Liberal strategy once a permanent leader is in place.

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