03 June 2009

NS election: Undecideds double in two weeks

The number of undecided voters in the Nova Scotia general election doubled in the second half of May compared to first half, according to two polls from Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates.

In a poll taken in early May only 17% of respondents were undecided or weren’t planning to vote.  In the second poll, 33% of respondents were undecided. 

The second poll covered a larger sample (834) than the first poll (627). The first poll was conducted from May 7 to May 16.  The second poll as conducted between May 18 and May 30.  CRA reports the margin of error for both polls as 3.9% for the first poll and 3.4% for the second, 19 times out of 20.

Support for the front running New Democrats dropped from 30.7% to 29.5%.  Liberal support dropped from 25.7% to 18.8% and Progressive Conservative support dropped from 23.2% to 17.4%.

Interpretation of the poll in conventional media relies on dealing only with decided voters. Thus, CBC concludes that “support for the NDP has risen sharply to 44 per cent from 37 per cent” while ignoring the change in undecideds.

There is no indication that Corporate Research Associates probes undecideds in the two polls, completed as part of CRA’s quarterly omnibus polling in Atlantic  Canada.



janfromthebruce said...

Interesting stats. I note the % drops in differences as followed:
NDP - 1.2%
Lib - 6.9%
Con - 5.8%

It appears that the biggest drop is in support is for liberals, followed closely by the Cons. In comparison, the NDP lost the least and not close to the other two parties - that's noteworthy!

Edward G. Hollett said...

It is indeed Jan, it's also noticeable that basically the voters didn't run for the likely winners even though the first poll was touted as showing the NDP as likely to form a majority.

Discontent or uncertainty with the Libs and PCs went into the undecided category.

I am not sure what that means in NS but in NL it would be a sign to watch out for a sudden shift in the last week or two. If people aren't willing to park with the NDP, then either the Lib or Tory vote might shift one to the other and produce a surprise.

If the NDP vote is focused in certain ridings, you could also see a Dipper minority government even though the CRA poll as presented by CRA would lead you to believe there'd be a majority.

CRA is a blunt instrument at best If his comments in the last NL provincial general election are anything to go by, Mills usually relies on a raft of stuff that isn't in the polling data to make his predictions.

Nova Scotia will be an interesting place next Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

If we have strong leadership from the Tories and poor leadership from the Libs, as we currently have...the results in NL will be an overwhelming seat victory at the next election.

If the Lib leadership changes then we may have a race. Ms. Jones, while doing an admirable job, is only seen as a care taker in the position.

Strong leadership is the number one factor in elections and the Libs are not even close. DW's recent poll showing confirms this. The recent shift in NS is completely different because there is no dominate leader among the Party's running in the election.

Anthony Roy