Premiers’ Performance: Federal Liberal ‘red tide’ lifts Atlantic Premiers’ approval ratings

Premiers’ Performance: Federal Liberal ‘red tide’ lifts Atlantic Premiers’ approval ratings

Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall the only Canadian premier with majority approval rating

December 9, 2015 – The red tide that propelled the Trudeau Liberals to a majority government in October also appears to be lifting the fortunes of some premiers, particularly in Atlantic Canada – where the party swept every riding – and where provincial leaders under the same political banner are seeing public approval of the their job performances improve.

An Angus Reid Institute (ARI) analysis of quarterly online survey results from more than six thousand Canadian adults shows that New Brunswick provincial Liberal Premier Brian Gallant sees his approval rating rebound nine points over the last quarter from 25 per cent in late summer to 34 per cent currently.

December Approval Ratings

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A change is also seen in in Nova Scotia, where more people now approve of fellow Liberal premier Stephen McNeil’s job performance (40 per cent in September, 46 per cent now).

As for Newfoundland and Labrador, that province has opted for a wholesale change in government. Due to date of the provincial election (November 30) and fielding dates of this survey (Nov. 24 – Dec. 1) no reporting is available for Liberal premier-designate Dwight Ball, who will be sworn in on December 14. Outgoing Conservative Premier Paul Davis’ job performance had the approval of 43 per cent of people in that province, a significant 12-point rebound over late summer (31%), but not enough to prevent his government’s massive loss.

The Liberal love-fest does not extend to premiers in central Canada however: approval of Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard’s job performance has trended down six points over the last quarter to 35%, landing him in the same place he was in March of this year, having enjoyed more goodwill from Quebecers during the summer. Ontarians’ approval of Premier Kathleen Wynne remains statistically unchanged over the last three months, off by a single point to 30 per cent – and down six points since March of this year.

As for the non-Liberal premiers (note that BC Liberals are a separate entity and not affiliated with the federal party), just over one-in-five Manitobans approve of New Democratic Party Premier Greg Selinger’s job performance (22%), virtually unchanged over the last three-quarters, but up five points from a floor of 17 per cent this time a year ago. Selinger remains Canada’s least-approved-of Premier.

Marching westward, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall’s job approval is down three points and stands at 60 per cent. The only time people in that province rated Wall’s performance lower than this was in May 2011, when 59 per cent said they endorsed his work. However, he remains the most-approved-of premier in the country.

Having made international headlines for her recent announcement regarding Alberta’s climate change strategy, Premier Rachel Notley will doubtless make more headlines as she works to sell the sweeping changes – including a carbon tax – closer to home. Fewer Albertans approve of the job she’s doing now (45%) than three months ago (50%).

In spite of a legislative session that did not go very well for the BC Liberals, Premier Christy Clark’s approval rating in British Columbia is slightly higher at 34 per cent, up two points since late August – and more or less unchanged over the last year.

Note: There are no trendline graphs for premiers who are relatively new to office.

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Click here for full report including tables and methodology

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Image Credit – Premier of Ontario Photography

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