Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eight months later, little change in Saskatchewan

On June 20, Insightrix released a new poll on the voting intentions of Saskatchewanians. It suggests that little has changed since the November 2011 election, and that means the Saskatchewan Party is still well ahead of its competitors.
Insightrix reported that the Saskatchewan Party has the support of 60.8% of voters, compared to 29.4% for the NDP, 4.3% for the Greens, 2.8% for the Liberals, and 1.2% for other parties. They also reported that 1.5% would spoil their ballot, something that is not recorded as part of the overall vote share in elections. Removing that last bit from the equation, we get the Saskatchewan Party at 62% and the New Democrats at 30%, with no major change for the Greens, Liberals, or others.

Since the election, that represents a two point drop for both the Sask. Party and the New Democrats, with the Greens up one and the Liberals up two. These are insignificant shifts, and for the Liberals much depends on how many candidates they run. They only ran nine out of 58 in the last election and took 0.6% of the vote. On a full slate that would have meant around 4% support, suggesting that they have also not budged very much.

These marginal changes would result in no seat shifts, as the Saskatchewan Party would hold on to their 49 seats and the New Democrats would retain their nine.

Brad Wall remains a very popular politician in Saskatchewan, as his approval rating stands at 67.5%. That is down only a small amount compared to the 69.1% he scored in an Insightrix poll from November. It is noteworthy, though, that his "strongly approve" numbers have slipped by seven points, from 39.6% to 32.8%. This might be something to keep an eye on in future reports from Insightrix.

Nevertheless, this still gives him a wider lead over the NDP's interim leader than his Saskatchewan Party has over the New Democrats. John Nilson has an approval rating of 32.2%, though almost 37% of Saskatchewanians "don't know" what they think of Nilson. This is not very important, however, as the Saskatchewan NDP will be choosing its next leader in March and Nilson will not be a candidate.

Steady as she goes in Saskatchewan, then. Wall is a very well-liked premier of a prosperous province, and that makes him a potentially strong candidate to be the eventual successor to Stephen Harper as leader of the Conservative Party. He will only be 54 by the 2019 federal election - plenty of time for him to win one more mandate for his party in Saskatchewan, pass along the premiership to another person, and brush up on his French.