The provincial Conservatives say a new election poll putting the NDP nine percentage points ahead provincewide and 21 points up in Winnipeg is flawed.
"This poll is at odds with what our internal tracking numbers show," said Michael Richards, the party’s president. "It’s a very small sample size: only 579 calls, only 363 within the city of Winnipeg, and some of the data is almost two weeks old."
Richards was commenting on a survey conducted by Viewpoints Research for CJOB and the Manitoba Real Estate Association.
The Progressive Conservatives, meanwhile, make 1,200 calls a night heavily targeting "the 10 to 15 seats that are going to determine the outcome" of the election, Richards said.
While he wasn’t going to share the Tory internal polling numbers, Richards said they provide "a very different picture." And he said the PCs are also "very, very encouraged" by what their own private numbers suggest.
Richards said the federal election showed that it’s very difficult for public pollsters to obtain meaningful information. Public polling can "dramatically under-represent" how well parties are doing on the ground in identifying the vote and getting it out on election day.
Richards said in the federal election, there was a sharp contrast between the public polling beforehand and the outcome. "And we’re hopeful that we’ll see the same kind of thing."
Richards noted that the low Liberal result, at five per cent, was likely due to the poll’s small sample size and the fact that the Liberal vote tends to be concentrated in certain ridings. The Liberal strength wouldn’t be picked up in a small broad sample, he said.