Nova Scotia Liberals slip, Tories take lead in new poll

Premier Stephen McNeil attends a bill briefing at the legislature in Halifax on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

A new poll from MQO Research indicates that Nova Scotia’s governing Liberal Party has slipped behind the Tories for support among decided and leaning voters in the province.

The poll, released as part of the organization’s quarterly political update, indicates that support for Stephen McNeil’s Grits have dropped 11 percentage points since MQO’s last poll in February.

The Liberals now sit at 30 per cent support.

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Two parties have benefitted as support for the governing Liberals has slipped.

Tim Houston, the new leader of the official Opposition, will be happy with the results of the new poll. His PC party has gained five percentage points, bringing them above the Liberals, to sit at 38 per cent support.

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A poll released by MQO Research paints a pretty picture for PCs in Nova Scotia. MQO Research

The Greens have also benefitted, seeing an increase of five percentage points to 12 per cent support in the province.

“The real problem for the governing Liberals is that they are losing support in the HRM — their traditional fortress,” said Stephen Moore, vice-president of MQO Research.

“They currently lead, but the increased support for the Tories means they are getting squeezed.”

The NDPs’ support in the province remained relatively the same since the last poll and currently sits at 18 per cent.

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The polling comes after several negative stories about the provincial government dominated the news cycle in March and April.

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First, was an alleged physical confrontation between Education Minister Zach Churchill and Houston in the provincial legislature.

Churchill denied any physical contact but confirmed there was a heated argument between the two over the CAT Ferry, based out of Churchill’s riding in Yarmouth.

Houston had moved that the incident be investigated by the house internal affairs committee, but that was voted down by the majority Liberal government.

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A viral video made by a frustrated mother who says she waited two years for her cancer diagnosis drew national attention to the issue of health care in the province.

Inez Rudderham released the tearful video in April demanding that McNeil take a meeting with her.

“To the premier of Nova Scotia, I dare you to take a meeting with me … and tell me there is no health-care crisis,” Inez Rudderham said in a viral Facebook video.

Rudderham got her wish, with the premier’s office confirming on May 1 that they’d meet with Rudderham.

The poll was conducted by telephone from May 3, 2019, to May 13, 2019, and included 600 randomly selected eligible voters from across the province.

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The margin of error for the poll is ± 4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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