The Green party of P.E.I. has moved into second place among preferred political parties in the province and are within striking distance of the governing Liberals, according to the latest Corporate Research Associates poll.
The Liberals are the preferred party of a plurality of Island voters at 42 per cent this quarter. This is an increase of five points from the last poll conducted in November, when the party hit its lowest level of support in 13 years.
But the Green party has jumped nine points this quarter, leapfrogging over the Opposition Progressive Conservatives to sit in second place at 34 per cent - placing the party with just two elected MLAs in the legislature only eight points behind the governing Liberal party. This is the Green party’s highest ever level of surveyed support in Prince Edward Island.
The Tories, meanwhile, dropped 11 points since the last CRA poll in November to sit at 17 per cent of decided voters.
Six percent of P.E.I. residents prefer the NDP, down from 11 per cent.
Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker remains the most popular leader in the province at 37 per cent, which was an increase of four percentage points since November. He has remained ahead of Premier Wade MacLauchlan all year, whose personal popularity stayed virtually the same over last two quarters, with 26 per cent of Islanders listing him as their preference for premier.
Preference for Opposition PC Leader James Aylward is consistent with last quarter at 16 per cent, compared with 14 per cent, while three per cent of Islanders say they plan to back the next leader of NDP.
With regards to government satisfaction, one-half of P.E.I. residents are satisfied with the performance of the provincial government - 51 per cent compared with 49 per cent three months ago - while nearly one-half of residents are dissatisfied - 47 per cent compared with 41 per cent.
The number of residents who do not offer a definite opinion on the matter dropped to two per cent from 11 per cent.
Two in 10 Islanders are undecided, while six per cent refuse to state a preference (unchanged), and three per cent either support none of the parties or do not plan to vote.
The quarterly poll had a sample size of 300 people interviewed between Feb. 2-28 with an overall margin of error of plus or minus 5.7 percentage points with a 95 per cent confidence level.