Stephen McNeil is on a winning streak. He’s won two back to back majority governments, balanced four budgets, and implemented the most ambitious legislative agenda our province has seen in decades. Polls show him with a big lead going into the next general election.
A recent poll from Narrative Research shows McNeil with 16-point-lead. His Nova Scotia Liberal Party is sitting comfortably at 42%, an impressive lead for an incumbent seeking a third term. Tim Houston’s Tories are now down to 26% and the New Democrats are at 21%.
Nova Scotia’s transformation under McNeil has been dramatic.
After decades of decline and stagnation, Nova Scotia posted Canada’s second fastest population growth last quarter. Hourly wages grew by 6% in 2019, while average wages grew by 4%.
Our credit rating is now one of the best in North America, allowing us to spend more on healthcare and eduction, and less on debt servicing and interest.
Education funding has increased dramatically under the Liberals. The number of Nova Scotians without primary care is dropping by thousands every month.
Nova Scotia is getting richer, more populous and our debt is finally being reduced.
McNeil’s main opponents do not seem to be attracting much attention or support.
The New Democrats under Halifax Chebucto MLA Gary Burrill had their worst showing in decades during the 2017 general election. Burrill has taken the party outside of the mainstream, a move that doesn’t seem to be paying off.
Progressive Conservative leader Tim Houston has struggled to connect with Nova Scotians and the party has been seen slumping poll numbers under his leadership. Houston’s negative campaigning and knee-jerk opposition of things like balanced budgets and tax cuts has puzzled many Progressive Conservatives, some of whom privately admit they are going to back McNeil. His stunning lack of policy and inability to take strong positions on major issues like Northern Pulp has politicos fearing Houston is just saying whatever he thinks is popular and will get him elected.
McNeil hasn’t been perfect. But the bottom line is clear- he’s successfully moved the needle on important issues like debt, population, jobs and growth.