05 January 2017

Public Support for Muskrat Falls #nlpoli

Corporate Research Associates isn't the only pollster in the universe, no matter what some people locally seem to believe.

CRA released  the results of a question the company asked during its omnibus last November.  They found support for Muskrat Falls at 45%.  That's down from 54% in May 2016,  65% in May 2015, and 63% in February 2013.

"For the first time",  CBC reported on Wednesday,  more people don't support the project than support it.

First time?

For CRA maybe but not for others.
NTV commissioned two polls by Telelink, one in February 2011 and the second one in October 2011.

Support for the project was at 71% in the winter, a few months after Danny Williams announced it and then left politics in an ungodly hurry.

By October, support was at 42%.

What's more interesting is that Telelink asked about opposition to the project.  They got six percent in February but by the fall, 22% of respondents were willing to say they opposed the project.

In November 2012,  CRA polled on behalf of a Nalcor front-group.  The company found 66% in favour of the project.

More interestingly, MQO - part of the advertising company that worked for Nalcor at the time - also polled around the same time and came up with generally similar numbers.  But MQO's poll for NTV had some other results.  As SRBP noted at the time:
"They asked whether people supported a PUB review.   69% supported a full PUB review.  14% didn’t and 17% had no answer.  
"They also asked about a referendum.  53% supported a referendum.  31% didn’t want a referendum and 17% neither supported nor opposed a referendum. 
"Then there was the killer:  asked if they had enough information to make an informed opinion about the project, 57% said they did not while 43% felt they had enough information." 
High support for the project (59%) but almost the same number felt they didn't have enough information to make an informed opinion.  And 53% wanted a referendum on the project.

So, the truth is that support for Muskrat Falls has fallen below 50% before.  It was at 42% way back in the fall of 2011 around the time that all three political parties supported the project during the election. A year later, around the time the provincial government went through the pro forma exercise of "sanctioning" a project they'd already committed to finish, no matter what,  more than half the people surveyed by Nalcor's own pollster found they didn't have enough information to form a proper opinion.

All that has never mattered though since the politicians of all three political parties have supported Muskrat Falls from the beginning and continue to do so. The Premier and the New Democrats say something different these days but the truth is a matter of public record.