Well, if your a Tory, the Sorry Centrist thinks you are going to win by a landslide 39 seats to 16. If you are a Liberal, NB Politico thinks you will win by 7 seats over the Tories. If you are Jacques Poitras, you feel vindicated about the absolute mess of a poll served up by the classy folks at Bristol.
If you trust the CRA numbers infinitely more than the Bristol/Al Hogan poll, then tomorrow’s poll release will be watched much more closely.
If you monitor the local news media (as I do), the edge has to go to Premier Lord. He is called the frontrunner, the ‘analysts’ Desserud and Bateman are quite supportive and most of the language leans Tory.
As I predicted, economy-related issues are a non-starter. Oh, there have been numerous stories – mostly in the TJ – about the decline in tourism; the serious shortages of staff in the call centre sector, the IT industry problems, the forestry industry problems, etc. There have been ‘warnings’ from the Enterprise Network, the NB Biz Council, the Tourism Association, etc. but nary a bit of secondary commentary/editorial that would take the story to the next level of analysis and exposure to the public discourse.
Even the dreaded auto insurance that Robert Jones poured his heart and soul into – isn’t really gaining much traction. Sorry, Robert.
No, the timing of the Tories on this was impeccable. As long as the polls numbers were down, Lord was a ‘fixed election date’ guy. Then the CRA poll came out, confirming their internals, showing Lord with a lead and boom, he’s a ‘election when it makes sense’ guy.
Throw in a good news budget, a steady stream of issue numbing announcements like the HST rebate on electricity and the best time to go the polls when people are just back in school, work, etc. and not inclined to think about politics – and you’ve got a really good mix.
I stand in awe of the political spin machine that could convince us all that things are great in New Brunswick and that the government deserves a third term.
They have had two terms to deal with the economy and haven’t.
They have had two terms to deal with the worst health and education outcomes in the country – and they haven’t.
They have had two terms to deal with depopulation and they haven’t.
They’ve had two terms to deal with the lack of R&D and innovation in New Brunswick and they haven’t.
They’ve had two terms to try and reduce our reliance on Equalization and they haven’t.
They’ve had two terms to try and engender a sense of pride and optimism among people about our shared future and they haven’t.
According to the year end poll done by CRA there’s more lethargy about this government than most likely any NB government in history. A vast majority of us can’t even name one thing that Lord has done of any consequence.
And yet pervailing wisdom is that he’s going to get back in for another kick at the can.
Maybe Lord is a metaphor for New Brunswick. Maybe mediocrity and disinterest couple with just the right amount of denial is a definition of the collective we call New Brunswick.
There’s an old saying that “you get the government you deserve”.
Sounds about right, no?