Green Party surges ahead in polls, while NDP working hard to elect their leader
Published Thursday, April 18, 2019 8:57PM ADT
The election is still five days away, but about a quarter of Prince Edward Islanders have already voted.
The last of the advance polls was open until 7 p.m. Thursday.
Meanwhile, a new poll suggests the Green Party has a clear lead over the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals heading into the last weekend of the campaign. The NDP is well back -- and focused mainly on electing its leader.
Joe Byrne, the NDP’s leader, says it’s time Prince Edward Island had a pharmacare program and an NDP MLA.
“They're telling me at the door, that that choice between groceries and medication is an unfair one,” Byrne says.“Our people need to not have to choose between paying a light bill, buying groceries, and getting medication so we have to change this. Electing an NDP MLA and making sure we have that voice in the legislature means that we are going to deal with pharmacare.”
From his campaign headquarters, a home in a neighbourhood near Charlottetown's downtown, the leader of Prince Edward Island's New Democrats has one, main goal this election: “Get elected.”
NDP volunteers are putting a lot of their time into getting their leader elected in District 12.
The party is a distant fourth in provincial polls, but Byrne believes he has a chance in his riding.
“We need a pharmacare program, in Canada and in Prince Edward Island, and it's very important Joe Byrne's voice be heard in the P.E.I. legislature,” said Nova Scotia NDP leader Gary Burrill.
On Thursday, with Burrill by his side, Byrne told us he doesn't think it's fair to say this is a three-way-race.
“Idon't think it's accurate, if we're talking about in District 12 where I'm running,” Byrne said. “We're getting all kinds of support at the door. Just this morning, I heard from three voters who have traditionally voted, or were thinking about voting for another party, and they want that voice of diversity at the table.”
But it is a battle for him to get there.
Halifax based MQO Research spoke with 400 Islanders between April 11 and April 16. It found support for the Green Party jumped six points to 40 per cent, while Liberal support dropped seven points to 26 per cent.
The PC party sits at 29 per cent and the NDP at just three per cent.
The margin of error is 4.9 percentage points 19 times of 20.
“To me the most interesting thing is watching the Green Party and just how historic that really is,” said voter Callen Cudmore.
Curiosity and excitement surrounding the idea of a Green government has remained strong, but Byrne says, don't count him out.
Several of the party leaders and their teams say they won’t be campaigning Friday or Sunday, as it is Easter weekend.
They plan to get the last of their campaigning and door-knocking done on Saturday and Monday.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.