Tuesday, June 14, 2011

McGuinty stands alone as peers soar in polls

The three most popular premiers in the country also happen to be heading into an election this fall. Their timing could not be better.

But another election in October could mean the end for one of Canada’s most consistently unpopular provincial leaders, Dalton McGuinty.

A poll conducted by Angus-Reid last month found that Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale had the highest approval ratings in Canada.

While Wall was the only premier to score over 50 per cent, both Selinger and Dunderdale attained 65 per cent approval among those who expressed an opinion. Wall tops out at 71 per cent among decided voters.

This should come as no surprise for Wall and Dunderdale, who both lead their rivals in the polls by virtually insurmountable margins and are on track to win majority governments in the fall. But this is a shift for Manitoba’s premier.

You can read the rest of the article on The Huffington Post Canada website.

These premier polls come out every few months, and last time Kathy Dunderdale was on top. Her numbers have dropped, however.

After removing the "not sures", we get a clean approval/disapproval rating which is far easier to compare across the nine provinces included.

Note: Prince Edward Island is not included in this survey. As someone at Angus-Reid told me, even in these massive 6,500-respondents surveys, PEI is still too small to get anything reliable. Consider that even with a sample of 6,500 Canadians, PEI's proportion should be around 30 people, a sample that would normally have an MOE of about 18%.

Back to the results - Brad Wall of Saskatchewan is now ranked first, with an approval rating of 71%. That is down four points from February, however.

Greg Selinger has moved from fourth to second and now has an approval rating of 65%, up 18 points. He is tied with Dunderdale, who drops 20 points to 65%, and from first place to third.

David Alward of New Brunswick is fourth, down one spot, but has improved his rating eight points to 63%.

Christy Clark debuts in fifth with 54%, far greater than the 19% Gordon Campbell had in February.

Ed Stelmach of Alberta remains in sixth, but his approval rating is up seven points to 33%. Darrell Dexter has dropped two spots to seventh, but is only down one point to 32%.

Dalton McGuinty is up two points but down one spot to eighth and 24%, while Jean Charest remains dead last. His approval is up six points to 22%, however.


  1. Premier approval may or may not point to electoral results though??

    Go back to the last election and McGuinty still had lousy numbers but the party won the election.

    This may be one of those odd cases where party surpasses Premier ?

  2. Its worth noting that Angus Reid invariably had pretty high disapproval numbers for Stephen Harper - yet eh won the election. This poll gives low approval numbers to Darrel Dexter, yet the CRA poll out last week says the NS NDP would easily get re-elected.

  3. Since you mentioned the election in Saskatchewan, are there any new polls regarding it. The last one I have seen is from November 2010 before the teacher's, health care workers and SGEU threatened strike action.

  4. I have not seen any other polls for Saskatchewan, unfortunately. My current projection for the province is based on the poll you mention.

  5. AverageCanuck14 June, 2011 14:17

    Peter and DL you should listen to guru Brian Topp.

    His thinking is that campaigns matter and that during campaigns leadership numbers often converge with party support numbers.

    It was certainly true in 2011. Here's AR's March 2011 numbers with undecided removed:

    Harper = 42%, party = 39%
    Layton = 45%, party = 17%
    Ignatieff = 18%, party = 23%

    It was clear for a long time that Layton would help his party in an election, Ignatieff would drag his party down, and Harper would be slightly better.

    Dexter and McGuinty are dead weight.

    Their only hope is that the other opposition leaders are equally or more unpopular than they are.

    Christy Clark is certainly a huge plus for the Liberals in BC and her popularity has the NDP running scared.

  6. I wonder if this would be a 'Jets' bounce for Selinger?

  7. Quebec poll by Leger

  8. Pretty interesting in Manitoba as the NDP can win there (and a stable majority of 30+ seats at that) even trailing the PCs by 10 or more points provincewide.
    -Thanks to Northern ridings (NDP dominated) having fewer people, the NDP hold these 5-6 seats strongly in spite of some having around half the voters of other ridings (may have been corrected a bit due to redistribution) and their dominance will likely continue, though one or two may be winnable by the PCs.
    -PC rural superfortresses: The safest 2-3 ridings in the province are high populated PC rural ridings at around 80% with a dozen or so around 60%. While the NDP have a ton of safe seats, few of these are much higher than 60% and those that are usually are in smaller ridings, which could lead to a number of close wins this time around but a win nonetheless.
    -Liberal party near-irrelevance: The Liberals havent been much of a factor in Manitoba for two decades and will likely win only one seat (Jon Gerrard), since their 2nd MLA is now the MP of Winnipeg North and his district seems like NDP-friendly territory this time. Nonetheless they do have some strength in Winnipeg South and Centre areas, which may actually protect some of the NDP MLAs who won last time with only slightly above 50% as the Liberals poll 15-20% in these ridings consistently above their provincial average, which likely limits PC gains in parts of Winnipeg and leaves the NDP needing to only get 40-45% in these ridings this time around. They probably dont have nuch of a chance in more than three ridings this time around barring a major turnaround.
    -Target ridings: The closest NDP seat held was by a margin of 11.2% last time and only 5 are within 20%. In a hypothetical reversal of the 48-38 margin of last time (to create a 20 point swing in every riding, a bad example since a couple NDP areas would have 0% of the vote but still interesting) the PCs would only win 24 seats despite nearly 50% of the votes, while the NDP still win a strong majority of 32. Throw into this the fact that Brandon West will likely be retaken by the NDP since it was barely won last time and only because of a superstar candidate and former MP for the PCs and it is certainly possible for the PCs to poll over 50% and still have an NDP majority.

  9. "Their only hope is that the other opposition leaders are equally or more unpopular than they are. "

    I can't speak to Dexter.

    McGuinty has a real ally in Hudak who's recognised as a Harris clone and was in fact part of the Harris Govt!!

    That's enough in Ont to tar any politician for life !!

    The PC party may be doing well in the polls but when push comes to shove in the voting booth things will change !!

  10. AverageCanuck15 June, 2011 02:37

    "That's enough in Ont to tar any politician for life !!"

    Yeah because Clement, Baird, and Flaherty haven't been elected repeatedly and Harper didn't get 44.4% in Ontario in the recent election ...

    Oh wait.

  11. Clement loses alot electorally actually, they had to put him in a safer rural Ontario riding to win federally since he failed in Metro Toronto. And even then he barely won in 2006, obviously no big deal now since the Liberals are the 3rd place party in Canada and were the ones beating him.


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