01 October 2008

It's Coady in front

The NTV/Telelink poll on St. John's South- Mount Pearl didn't turn up many major surprises.

Liberal Siobhan Coady, who is trying the seat for the third time, is in front with 29.1% of "likely" voters.  New Democrat Ryan Cleary is in second place with 19.5% and Conservative Merv Wiseman is at 11.6%.  Green Party candidate Ted Warren and NL First Party candidate Greg Byrne fall into the "other" category in the poll, and split up 1.3% between them.

Undecided is at 38.5%.  Margin of error in the poll of 550 "likely" voters was plus or minus 4.3%.

Coady polled 35% and 33% of the cast votes in both her previous outings.  That means she's pretty much held on to her vote.

The New Democrats likewise seem to be hanging on to their vote with Ryan Cleary.  Peg Norman, the candidate last time, garnered a share of the vote in the low 20s.

Biggest change came for the Conservatives.  Loyola Hearn polled 40% and 45% of the cast votes in 2004 and 2006.

Fully 70% of respondents said the ABC campaign had no influence on their choice of Liberal or Conservative.

Undecided is very large, but in both the previous campaigns voter turnout was less than 60%.

Finally, voters were asked what issue they considered most important. As in Avalon, social programs rated first at 51.1%; the economy was second at 18.4%.

Equalization was the third issue, at 10.4%.  That's a pretty strong indication that the ABC campaign - which has Equalization at its core - isn't moving voters toward the Liberals and New Democrats.  Rather it has merely served to suppress the Conservative vote.

Unlike in Avalon, which had an equally large undecided population, the clear differentiation among the candidates in St. John's South-Mount Pearl and the absence of an incumbent suggests that the election is Coady's to lose.

She's been running a campaign that appears aimed to appeal to disgruntled Conservatives, although, as in past elections, the economic issues which have tended to be at the forefront of her campaign literature aren't the ones at top of mind for most voters.  A shift in her messaging to emphasize issues that are likeliest to move voters to the polls might help to make her unbeatable.  [Hint:  As in the past two federal elections, the Hibernia 8.5%, the Lower Churchill and Equalization are not the biggest thing on voters' minds.]

Cleary's campaign hasn't dropped literature throughout the riding and the absence of a website and advertising specifically for the riding has made it harder for the New Democrats to push their message to voters in the riding.  They've been relying, apparently on the national effort. That would make it very difficult for Cleary and the New Democrats to develop any momentum by appealing to the undecideds.

There's not much Wiseman could do except pray for some sort of October surprise.

Otherwise, St. John's South-Mount Pearl is going pretty much as the popular wisdom would have it.


Double barreled update - Not one but two e-mails corrected the point about Ryan Cleary not having a website.

He does, and you can find it at ryanclearyndp.ca.  Some will note that Ryan is blogging and find that hysterically funny given his relentless attacks on bloggers, including the claim at one point that he never read blogs.

There are some other points to note.  Cleary has signage which is a campaign standard.  The ones seen by your humble e-scribbler do not have the website addy.  Simple clue:  by putting the addy on the signs, you drive traffic to the website where more detailed information can be found.

Apparently there have been no literature drops in the Cowan Heights/Bowring Park area of the riding. Despite having searched by every means possible, your humble e-scribbler couldn't find the Cleary site.  It seems to have gone live around September 23, judging by the date of the first blog entry. 

Cleary has been knocking doors, however it is hard to hit the entire riding in five to six weeks that way.

Thanks for the corrected information, Dale and Clare Marie. Now that it's confirmed Ryan has a website, we can do the Campaign 2.0 assessment of this election.

If there are any other gaps, keep the corrected information coming.