07 November 2015

Downfall #nlpoli

On Day Two of the official provincial general election campaign, a new poll by a different polling method lines up with the Abacus Data poll. In both Abacus and Forum Research, results are shown for decideds and leanings.

Forum goes farther than others, though, by showing demographic breakdowns of the responses. The Telegram had the poll first.

In the party choice question, Liberals dominate ever age category.  The narrowest gap is in the 65+ group where the Liberals have 55% of support compared to the Conservatives 33%.  In the 18-34 cohort,  Liberals hold a commanding lead with the support of 70% of respondents.  The Conservatives and New Democrats have the support of 16% and 14% of respondents respectively.

The sex split is equally stark (L/C/N):  62/24/12 for males and 68/19/13 for females.

For the New Democrats in particular that result is plain evidence of their failure to appeal to two categories in particular they have struggled to attract.  Both women and youth picked another party – in this case Liberals – by a staggering margin.

Liberals also have massive support across every single income category.  Where one might presume the NDP to have some foothold – among the low income earners (less than $20k per year -   the NDP (17%) are virtually tied with the Conservatives (16%) while the Liberals have the support of 66%.

In the numerically largest income category (20 to 40K), the folks most likely to be adversely affected by massive electricity increases due to Muskrat Falls, the Liberals have the support of 60% of respondents compared to 25% for the Conservatives and 14% for the NDP.

On the leader and leader performance questions, Dwight Ball of the Liberals is clearly the preference across the board, but the differences are not as stark as with party choice.

What that means:

  • The Liberals have taken support from both the Conservatives and the NDP.
  • The odds of a Liberal sweep are high. The NDP and Conservatives may be able to hang on to two or three seats each on the northeast Avalon.
  • The deciding factor will be the organization on the ground.  The Liberals have an enormous lead in this area. Both the NDP and Conservatives will have to focus on the couple of seats each where their own internal information shows the strongest lead or chance of victory. As we saw in the federal election, this is the NDP’s weak suit.
  • The strategic problem for the NDP and Conservatives is that just as they concentrate in a small area,  the Liberals can do likewise and the Liberals have much more political force to bring to bear. 
  • Frustration and desperation over poll results and failing campaigns make it more like the NDP and Conservatives will suffer an internal collapse of morale.
  • The NDP are most vulnerable to this since they have the weakest core vote. Organizationally, the NDP are also the weakest with almost half their slate still vacant.

Message Forecast:

  • There will be a powerful temptation for both the Conservatives and NDP to go increasingly negative with the focus of their attention being Dwight Ball, personally.  Conservatives have already started down this road with talk of a hidden agenda
  • NDP and Conservatives are already talking about the need for a strong opposition.  Parties who campaign like an opposition party get their wish.