Polls dig deeper into North Okanagan-Shuswap race

One survey shows the Conservatives in the lead while another puts the NDP in first place

New polls continue to show a tight race for North Okanagan-Shuswap, but they differ on who is gaining ground.

A Liberal survey has the Conservatives in the lead, with the Liberals nipping at the heels of the NDP for second, while a Leadnow poll has the NDP in top spot, followed by the Conservatives and Liberals.

The Liberal-commissioned poll was conducted by Mainstreet Technologies and it asked 567 people, “If an election were held today, which candidate would you vote for?” The results were 38 per cent Conservative, 22 per cent, NDP, 20 per cent Liberal, four per cent Green and 16 per cent undecided.

The Leadnow poll was conducted by Environics Research and it asked 755 people, “If the federal election were held tomorrow, which one of the following parties would you vote for here in North Okanagan-Shuswap? It shows, among decided voters, 37 per cent NDP, 33 per cent Conservatives, 22 per cent Liberals, eight per cent Greens. Five per cent of those polled were undecided.

Cindy Derkaz, Liberal candidate, believes her party’s poll reflects what is happening locally.

“Clearly, NDP support in our riding is fading fast, just as it is fading nationally,” she said.

“The national polls make it clear that Justin Trudeau is the only leader, and the Liberals are the only party, who can replace Stephen Harper. We’ll continue to run as hard as we can leading up to Oct. 19.”

However, Jacqui Gingras, with the NDP, has a different interpretation of the political scene.

“When we go to doorsteps, we hear support is growing and polls are an attempt to predict outcomes but they are not evidence of outcomes,” she said.

“Regardless of the polls, we’ll be on doorsteps and phones until the election because there are many undecided voters out there.”

Conservative Mel Arnold says he’s more interested in what he is hearing from residents than what opinion surveys show.

“The only poll that matters is Oct. 19 and until then, our team will continue to spread the Conservative message,” he said.

“Polls have been so unpredictable over the years and we will not change our strategy because of polls.”

Green Chris George could not be reached for comment.

A recent Oraclepoll Research survey commissioned by a group of local citizens showed 41 per cent of decided voters support for the NDP, 38 per cent for the Conservatives, 12 per cent for the Liberals and nine per cent for the Greens. Fifteen per cent were undecided.

The Mainstreet Technologies poll was conducted Oct. 10 in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. A total of 567 people 18 years and over were interviewed and the margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 per cent, 19 out of 20 times. The survey was conducted using computer-assisted techniques of phone interviewing and random number selection. The results can be found at http://cindyderkaz.liberal.ca/files/2015/10/North-Okanagan-Survey-Results.pdf.

The Environics Research poll was conducted Oct. 9 and 11 in the North Okanagan-Shuswap. A total of 755 people 18 years and over were interviewed and the margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 per cent, 19 out of 20 times. The survey was conducted using computer-assisted techniques of phone interviewing and random number selection. The results can be found at https://s3.amazonaws.com/leadnow/Environics-leadnow-oct-13-15.pdf.