Dunderdale told Reporters on the afternoon of the Harbour Grace – Carbonear
By-election, ‘whatever happens it’s just
one Seat’, you are forced to wonder just how disconnected she is from ordinary
people and detached from notions of leadership.
25% (22% three months ago) against 39% for Dwight Ball and 18% for a chastened
anyone expect the Premier’s popularity to be higher? ‘Whatever happens it’s
just one seat’ is declaration of ‘don’t care’ when it ought to be one of
concern and distress.
Polls – why would you think the Premier could ever lift the Tories’ from the
for the P.C.’s increased to 29% (from 26%), it equates only with the Poll’s
margin of error (2.9%), so even this uptick is tentative.
news for Dunderdale is that the Government’s satisfaction rating has improved (42%,
up from 31% three months ago). That must
be a heartwarming occurrence for which Ross Reid is no doubt taking
credit. Dunderdale will be happy to interpret
the result as confirmation she ought to have had her ‘dustup’ with Jerome
Kennedy long ago.
news for the Premier is that her personal popularity is a drag even on an
unpopular Government. A popularity level of 25% does not constitute much political
glue if the Caucus becomes fractious.
other interesting bits in the CRA Poll, too, but it is impossible not to note its
arrival on the heels of the Harbour Grace-Carbonear by-election.
media comments, in advance of the by-election, suggest she is more imposter
than Premier. They raise the same questions the CRA Poll might pose.
Premier understand her Office? Does she think about the disparate roles of a
leader? Does she know that, at times, an inspirational word transcends any
display of impermeability or bravado? That
an ability to be thoughtful, even self-effacing, is an affirmation of
self-confidence, strength and power?
most people took Dunderdale’s remarks as a warning not to wait up for the by-election
results, as did I.
I felt sympathy for the Tory Candidate and his campaign team. The latter would have been expecting the
Party Leader to exude the utmost confidence in her Candidate and send a strong
message of empathy with the residents of the Riding – even if the final result
too, what the Members of her Cabinet and Caucus were saying having witnessed that
display of poor judgment. Undoubtedly, the cell phones of the Tory Members were
ringing as tongues wagged. Very likely
one Member was hoping that the other could spell ‘coup’.
(42 from 31%) uptick in the Government’s popularity, in just 3 months will give
some encouragement to despairing P.C. Members. Indeed, many will properly calculate
that the Liberal’s capture of 52% of voter support, in the CRA Poll, will not
be sustained in the next Survey. Naturally, the Liberal surge will ‘levelize’
as the attraction of the Leadership Contest diminishes. And, yes, Ms.
Dunderdale, even if momentarily, will interpret any decline in Liberal support
as the dawn of her political re-birth.
Premier ought to be restrained from experiencing too much irrational exuberance.
most Governments, in this Province, this Premier can’t blame those Poll numbers
on bad luck or economic misfortune, certainly not after her Minister of Finance’s
declaration that NL is in a “golden age”.
result seems to just compound the evidence that Dunderdale’s lack of popular
support has a different, more personal origin; one unconnected to oil or
former Ministers Paul Oram and Sean Skinner have counselled the Premier to
engage in a period of reflection, essentially a “get lost” message, the Premier
is unlikely to accede without some act of heroism from her Caucus fellows.
Tory MHA’s may wish, given his letter writing skills, Dale Kirby had been one
of them, a tired public may yet prefer the opportunity to swing a more clever ax.