Wall Best, Dexter Worst as Canadians Rate Their Premiers

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is still the most popular provincial head of government in Canada, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 6,599 Canadian adults asked respondents in nine provinces about the performance of their respective premiers.

Two thirds of respondents in Saskatchewan (67%) approve of the way Wall is handling his duties. The only other premier who surpasses the 50 per cent mark in approval is Alberta’s Alison Redford, who has gained 11 points since March and now garners a positive assessment from three-in-five respondents in her province (60%).

Manitoba’s Greg Selinger and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Kathy Dunderdale are tied for third place nationally with 46 per cent. Selinger has dropped four points since December, while Dunderdale has seen her approval rating reduced by 14 points in the same span.

The approval rating for New Brunswick’s David Alward is 36 per cent, slightly ahead of Quebec Premier Jean Charest (32%), Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty (31%), and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark (30%). The lowest ranked premier this quarter is Darrel Dexter in Nova Scotia at 27 per cent.

This month, four provincial heads of government are disapproved by three-in-five of their constituents: McGuinty (60%), Clark (63%), Charest (64%) and Dexter (65%).

The Opposition

The survey also asked respondents to provide an approval rating for all of the opposition party leaders in their respective province. The list is headed once again by New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Lorraine Michael in Newfoundland and Labrador (57%). British Columbia NDP leader Adrian Dix gained six points this quarter to reach second place (53%), followed by Nova Scotia Liberal leader Stephen McNeil (52%), and Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath (51%).

Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith has an approval rating of 47 per cent in Alberta, followed by Coalition for the Future of Quebec leader François Legault (42%), Saskatchewan interim NDP leader John Nilson (39%), Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party leader Hugh McFadyen (39%) and New Brunswick Liberal Party interim leader Victor Boudreau (34%).


Three of the four best rated Canadian premiers are located in Western Canada, with Wall continuing to enjoy a high level of popularity and Redford showing a marked improvement since Alberta’s provincial election. Selinger has kept an overall positive score since last year’s electoral victory, while Dunderdale has dropped below 50 per cent for the first time in her tenure.

The biggest contrast between popular opposition leaders and unpopular premiers is seen in two provinces that last held elections in 2009. Christy Clark continues to trail Adrian Dix in British Columbia, and Stephen McNeil is posting better numbers than Darrell Dexter.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From May 21 to May 28, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 6,599 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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Brad WallDarrel DexterNova ScotiaSaskatchewan