The Liberals are feeling happy with the Spring CRA poll which seem to point towards them having a solid lock on forming the next provincial government. Reliable and solid numbers, once again!
The Tories plan to stall, re-arrange the boundaries and throw some chaos into the Liberals advanced pre-election planning process has not borne any fruit for them. Paul Davis and his party are not seeing any up-tick in support. They are stuck in the Sargasso Sea, just waiting to be put out of their listless existence.
The real winners are the New Democrats and their new Leader, Earle McCurdy. While they have the lowest support of all three major parties, the big change since the last polling period shows that the McCurdy NDP have the momentum going into the summer. The party recorded some very significant gains among decided voters.
This is a game changer because up to this point folks were feeling there was but one choice to the governing tories. The defection of two MHAs from the NDP caucus was followed by a steep downturn in support for the leader and the party. Just over a month ago, Earle McCurdy took the helm and in that time the party has seen a very encouraging bump in support at the expense, mostly, of the Liberals. Honest Earle is making a good impression, I can only imagine where the party would be with a charismatic leader like St. South - Mount Pearl MP Ryan Cleary.
The strategists in Dwight Ball's War Room will be aware that the polling period ended before the communications SNAFU related to the party's debt became an issue. How much sharper would the Liberals support have declined if the polling period had ended a week later?
The SNAFU over the party's debt issue resulted in a shake-up in the communication assets at the Opposition Office. Dwight Ball brought in someone from outside the team that won him the leadership. Late last week Nancy O’Connor was hired into a new position as Senior Communications Advisor to the Leader. (She has been doing some work for them already) Carla Foote will remain as Director of Communications to the Official Opposition caucus. O'Connor comes out of the Cathy Bennett camp. She left M-5 where she has often been attached to the Nalcor file. She has also been listed as the media contact for OCI.
The Grits are reassuring themselves and telling one another that the NDP gains are just a snapshot in time, they mean nothing. Lets face it - the pollsters have gotten it all wrong in Ontario, The UK, Alberta and British Columbia. Keep playing the safe game, the win is just around the corner.
The reality though is clear the NDP are on the upsurge. The Alberta win, the Mulcair Effect, Two strong, popular, organized NDP MPs representing the populous North East Avalon, the debt/bank issue, the recruitment of a spokesperson associated with Nalcor, OCI/exemptions to the MPR, and a Heinz-57 caucus positions the NDP to be a real threat.. They could easily become the real agent of change chanting -LIBERAL - TORY - Same Old Story to a receptive voting population.
How many conversations have you had with people who normally vote Liberal or PC that see McCurdy, and the NDP, as an honest to goodness option this Fall?
We could be in the midst of a real change.