Thing is, the margin of error appears to be greater than the gap between the parties (though rounding might figure in the published results), so the NDP can't rest easy just yet. And another thing stands out:
NDP 42 per cent
Tories 39 per cent
Liberals 11 per cent
The province-wide omnibus telephone survey was taken between March 8 to 25 among a random and representative sampling of 1,003 Manitoba adults. The results are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
Probe found that outside Winnipeg, fully one-half of rural voters back the PCs (51 per cent, up from 49 per cent in December), while support for the NDP has slipped from 39 per cent to 32 per cent.In the short term, this is good news for the NDP, since a decline in rural support won't cost them very many seats (they don't hold very many of those seats anyway). However, if the Liberals start to surge back, things could change considerably. Fortunately, I doubt Jon Gerrard is the guy to do that.
In vote-rich Winnipeg, the NDP continues to have the support of 49 per cent of decided voters (down slightly from 52 per cent in December), while the PCs now sit at 32 per cent support (up two per cent from December) and the Liberals remain unchanged at 13 per cent. There are 57 seats in the Manitoba legislature: The NDP has 36 seats, the PCs 19 and the Liberals two.
Also, the timing of the poll is unfortunate, since it straddles last Tuesday's budget. I'd be interested to see the results of a poll conducted entirely after the budget came down, to see if it had an impact on public opinion.