A new poll shows NDP support dropping sharply, putting the party neck and neck with the Liberals.

The poll, conducted by Corporate Research Associates, found only 37 per cent of respondents would vote for the NDP if an election were held today — down from 53 per cent in November and 46 per cent in February.

The latest figure is also only two per cent more than the Grits, who came in at 35 per cent.

CRA president Don Mills said with the recent HST hike and the aftershocks of the MLA expense scandal, he was expecting the NDP to take a hit.

“The issues that were dealt with in the last three months, the MLA expense being prime among them, plus the budget, the government was going to take some hit in terms of their popularity,” he said.

“I think the thing that is probably surprising to a lot of people is just how much of a hit they have taken.”

Premier Darrell Dexter’s popularity has also waned by 20 per cent since November, resting currently at 24 per cent.

Overall, more respondents are preferring the Liberals’ Stephen McNeil to be the next premier. McNeil received 29 per cent support for popularity.

Both Dexter and McNeil refused to comment on the poll.

“Polls go up and down, and I don’t comment on them,” Dexter said. “It’s just a fact of life.”

By the numbers


May
• NDP - 37%
• Liberals - 35%
• Tories - 24%
• Green - 4%

February
• NDP - 46%
• Liberals - 26%
• Tories - 22%
• Green - 5%