The governing Liberals hold a slim lead in the province, according to the latest opinion polls, but the gap between the Liberals and the PC party narrowed in January among decided and leaning voters.
Market research firm MQO Research conducted the Atlantic Matters opinion poll by telephone between Jan. 12 and Jan 25, speaking with 600 people in the province.
According to the poll, support for the Liberal party decreased nine percentage points to 43 per cent, while support for the PC party increased seven percentage points to 38 per cent. NDP support held steady at 16 per cent.
Ratings for Premier Dwight Ball held steady since the last quarterly poll, at a score of 4.8 out of 10.
MQO Research also asked questions about the provincial economy, and the economic outlook for the province deteriorated in January.
Fifty-two per cent of respondents said their outlook on the economy had worsened over the past three months, up from 45 per cent in October; 36 per cent indicated their outlook had stayed the same, down from 43 per cent. Only 10 per cent of people felt things had gotten better.
Despite the pessimistic outlook for the economy, consumer confidence is slightly more positive compared to the same time last year.
Fifty-seven per cent of respondents said they felt secure in their current employment, up significantly from 46 per cent a year ago. The percentage of those feeling higher levels of stress in general edged down four percentage points to 25 per cent.
The poll’s margin of error for the total sample is four percentage points 19 times out of 20. Among decided and leaning voters, the margin of error is five percentage points 19 times out of 20.