Premiers’ Performance: Gallant’s job approval plunges, Notley enjoys post-election honeymoon

Premiers’ Performance: Gallant’s job approval plunges, Notley enjoys post-election honeymoon

Saskatchewan’s Wall: lowest approval in four years but remains Canada’s most popular premier.


June 22, 2015 – New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant ends his first session in government bruised by the implementation of his campaign promises and blemished in the eyes of his electorate.

An Angus Reid Institute (ARI) analysis of quarterly online survey results from more than six thousand Canadian adults shows Gallant, first sworn in last October, has seen his approval rating from respondents in his province plummet 13 points in the last three months, from 40 per cent in March to 27 per cent in June.

The New Brunswick premier’s sinking popularity comes with the introduction of several changes aimed at reducing government spending. Many of the changes, including increases to nursing home fees, have been deeply unpopular.

It remains to be seen whether newly-minted Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will meet the same fate once she and her government are more settled into their mandate. For the time being, just over half (53%) of Albertans favour the job she’s doing. This makes Notley – fresh off her historic majority win for the NDP May 5 – Canada’s second most popular premier, but time will tell how long her post-election honeymoon will last.

This survey was conducted prior to the Alberta Throne Speech on June 15, which signaled the premier’s intent to raise corporate and personal income taxes and ban union and corporate donations to political parties. Measurement of Notley’s approval three months from now will more accurately reflect the feelings of Albertans toward these changes, as well as those anticipated around the minimum wage, greenhouse gas regulations and royalties.

Policy changes on those fronts may well have implications for Saskatchewan, where Premier Brad Wall’s approval rating dips to a four-year low, but has zero impact on his hold as most popular premier in the country. Six-in-ten (61%) people in that province approve of his job performance, down three points from March (64%) and seven points from September of last year (68%). As with Alberta, slumping oil process may well have much to do with the mood of the electorate in Saskatchewan.

Also trending downward are a number of other veteran provincial leaders. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil’s approval is down six points in the last three months to 37 per cent (from 43%). In Ontario, Kathleen Wynne has the approval of less than one-third (31%) of respondents, down five points since March (36%). And British Columbia’s Christy Clark sees a slight decline quarter over quarter, earning the approval of three-in-ten (30%) people on the West Coast, compared to one-third (33%) during the spring.

Trending in the other direction, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard’s job performance sees a rebound of four points from March, now sitting at 39 per cent (up from 35%).

With a statistically unchanged performance rating (39%) compared to March (41%), Newfoundland and Labrador’s Paul Davis appears to be holding steady, as is Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, who also sees virtually no change over the last quarter: 22 per cent approved of him in the spring, 23 per cent do now. The difference, however, is that Selinger remains Canada’s least approved-of premier on job performance.

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







angus reid institute

Click here for full report including tables and methodology

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