Liberals leap ahead in new poll after Holt win, health-care woes

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The increase in the polls for the New Brunswick Liberal Party comes after they elected their new leader Susan Holt earlier this month. It also comes after a difficult time for the governing Progressive Conservatives on the health-care file. (Jacques Poitras/CBC - image credit)
The increase in the polls for the New Brunswick Liberal Party comes after they elected their new leader Susan Holt earlier this month. It also comes after a difficult time for the governing Progressive Conservatives on the health-care file. (Jacques Poitras/CBC - image credit)

The New Brunswick Liberals have jumped into a large polling lead over the governing Progressive Conservatives following the election of Susan Holt as the party's new leader.

The latest quarterly poll by Narrative Research shows the Liberals with the support of 41 per cent of respondents, compared to 30 per cent for the PCs, if an election were held now.

In Narrative's last poll released in May, the two parties were tied with 34 per cent support each.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 4 to 22, meaning almost all of the sampling was done after Holt won the Liberal leadership on Aug. 6.

It also coincided with a litany of health-care horror stories, including long emergency department wait times and the sporadic, unplanned closure of some hospital services around the province.

Fourteen per cent of Narrative respondents said they would vote Green, 11 per cent said they would support the NDP, and five per cent said they would cast ballots for the People's Alliance.

Narrative found 53 per cent of respondents were mostly or completely dissatisfied with the government of Premier Blaine Higgs, compared to only 40 per cent who were mostly or completely satisfied.

The margin of error on the party voting intention numbers would be plus or minus 5.8 percentage points for a sample that size in 19 out of 20 surveys.

For the satisfaction numbers, the margin of error is 4.2 percentage points.

Highest for Grits since 2018

The 41 per cent support for the Liberals in the new poll is their best result since the party lost power in 2018.

The Higgs PCs had led the Liberals consistently in Narrative's quarterly polling since winning the 2020 election, but they tumbled in the firm's November 2021 poll after the ending of COVID-19 mandates and a subsequent spike in cases.

In that poll, the Liberals led the PCs 38-28.

The two parties were statistically tied in the next two quarterly polls in February and May of this year.