Wall maintains top spot among Premiers with highest job approval ratings

[VANCOUVER – September 30, 2013] – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall’s position as the most popular premier in Canada remains firmly entrenched, while Premiers Kathy Dunderdale and Greg Selinger are struggling badly with voter approval, a new Angus Reid Global poll indicates.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 6,559 Canadian adults asked respondents in nine provinces about the performance of their premiers and provincial party leaders between Sept. 5 and Sept 13, 2013.

The Premiers

Saskatchewan, with Premier Wall, is the only province where a majority of respondents (68%) are satisfied with the performance of their premier.

Ranking second is British Columbia Premier Christy Clark with an approval rating of 44 per cent. Clark’s approval ratings are virtually unchanged from June of this year, after the once-embattled leader of the BC Liberals staged a remarkable come-from-behind election victory on May 14.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has surged from the back of the pack in June of this year (27%) to one of the more the more popular premiers in Canada (39%). Much of this may be attributable to her handling of the Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy, and the wedge issue of the Quebec Charter of values. A recent ARG poll indicates the proposed Charter legislation enjoys widespread support with Quebec voters. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has experienced a four point drop in her satisfaction rating since June, (43% down to 39%) but retains a higher approval ranking than most premiers.

Placing dead last for voter approval is Newfoundland Premier Kathy Dunderdale, at 20 per cent. Joining her at the back of the pack are Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger and Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter. For Selinger, this represents a five point drop in voter approval since June 2013, a continuing slide attributable to his handling of Manitoba’s PST increase. Approval ratings during the mid-term, however, may be less indicative of electoral success. BC Premier Christy Clark suffered equally dismal approval ratings before a majority win this year. For Dexter, time is running out. Nova Scotians vote October 8.

The Opposition

These are happier times for provincial Liberal leaders in Atlantic Canada. In Newfoundland voters approve of Liberal leader Dwight Ball who leads over Conservative leader and Premier Dunderdale by a nearly three-to-one margin (57% to 20%). Things are looking similarly bullish for Nova Scotia Liberal leader Stephen McNeil, who holds a voter approval rating lead of 23 points over NDP leader and Premier Darrell Dexter. In New Brunswick, Liberal leader Brian Gallant leads holds a ten point job approval rating lead over Conservative leader and Premier David Alward.

In Alberta, Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith holds the highest rating of all leaders in that province (47%), including Conservative leader and Premier Alison Redford (34%). However, where Smith’s rating is virtually unchanged since June 2013, Redford has gained five points, up from 29 per cent.

In Ontario, NDP leader Andrea Horwath (46%) remains more personally popular than Liberal leader and Premier Kathleen Wynne (39%). While Progressive Conservative Party leader Tim Hudak has been able to head off grumbling about his leadership in recent weeks, his job approval ratings have slipped a further four points since June 2013 (33% to 29%).

In Quebec, Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault’s approval rating remains unchanged at 45%, while Liberal Party of Quebec leader Philippe Couillard (46%) is the most popular provincial leader in that province, leading PQ leader and Premier Pauline Marois (39%).

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister holds a higher rating (50%) than NDP leader and Premier Greg Selinger (26%).

In British Columbia, Liberal leader and Premier Christy Clark (44%) continues to lead NDP outgoing leader Adrian Dix, whose job approval rating has dropped from a high of 49% earlier this year to 32%, since losing an election he was widely expected to win in May 2013. Dix announced his intention to resign as NDP leader on September 18.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology

From Sept. 5 to 13 2013, Angus Reid Global conducted an online survey among 6,559 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 1.2%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


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