Watch above: what could the drop in Conservative support in Saskatchewan mean in the next election?
SASKATOON – An EKOS poll released this week shows a drop in Conservative support in Saskatchewan, and a political studies professor at the University of Saskatchewan says it mirrors a trend happening across the country.
David McGrane told Global News that in the last election the Conservative received 56 per cent of the vote in Saskatchewan.
The EKOS poll, released on Sunday, gives the Conservatives 41 per cent of decided voters in this province.
“That’s a big drop for them,” said McGrane. “Saskatchewan has become a very polarized province, between those who are really in love with the Conservatives, and those who really hate the Conservatives.”
By comparison, in the EKOS poll the NDP got 23 per cent support in Saskatchewan – down from 32 per cent in the 2011 federal election.
McGrane said the big change has been a jump in Liberal support. They’ve gone from 8 per cent of the vote in 2011 to 23 per cent in this latest EKOS poll.
“This is a big, huge leap for the Liberals,” he said, giving much of the credit to the popularity of leader Justin Trudeau.
He said the numbers indicate the Conservatives may lose some of their 13 seats in the province in the next election, expected in 2015, but a lot depends on how the vote splits.
“The question is with this resurgent Liberal vote, does it take votes away from the Conservatives, or from the NDP,” said McGrane. He said if growing Liberal support takes votes away from the Conservatives, the two parties could end up splitting the vote in a number of ridings, and hand the NDP some victories.
However, if Liberal support takes more votes away from the NDP, that could help prop up the Conservatives.
“So the vote splits in this next election are going to be absolutely fascinating.”
McGrane added the new, all-urban ridings in Saskatoon and Regina may help the NDP.
Right now the Conservatives hold 13 seats in Saskatchewan, and the Liberals hold one. The NDP do not have any.
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