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1 in 3 Manitobans not voting for PCs due to pandemic response: poll

One-third of Manitobans say the provincial government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has made them not want to vote for the Progressive Conservatives come election day, according to new polling.

This is the latest data revealed in a Probe Research poll commissioned by CTV News Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press.

The poll asked Manitobans what kind of influence, if any, the provincial government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has on their voting decision.

"Around one in three voters tell us that they're less inclined to vote for the Conservatives because of what happened during the pandemic here in Manitoba," said Scott MacKay, the president and founder of Probe Research.

"That's a very significant number."

"It may be a fading memory for most of us, but there are still about a third of people who will have this on their mind when they go into the ballot box," he said.

Meanwhile, six in 10 (60 per cent) said the pandemic response has not had any influence on how they will vote.

There was a small number of Manitobans (seven per cent) who felt the pandemic response was a major factor that made them want to vote for the PCs.

Of those who say the government's response has made them seek out other provincial parties, more than half (53 per cent) are NDP supporters, while 35 per cent are Liberal supporters, and nine per cent are PC supporters.

People living in Winnipeg were more likely than those outside the city to say the COVID-19 response has influenced their vote.

Here is a look at some of the other demographics broken down in the poll.

The poll also surveyed Manitobans on support for a public inquiry into the province's response and handling of the pandemic.

"The public does want one. It's a small majority, but it is the majority," MacKay said.

More than half (55) per cent said they would strongly or somewhat support a public inquiry, while 45 per cent were opposed.

The NDP has promised to call a 'forward-facing independent inquiry' into the pandemic.


This election campaign has seen some other pandemic promises from Manitoba's two leading parties.

Both the NDP and PCs have promised they would not impose any more COVID-19 lockdowns.

"I can tell you that if we are back in government, we will not be locking down again," PC Leader Heather Stefanson said during a leaders’ debate on Sept. 20.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew said, if elected, his government wouldn't bring in any previous restrictions including closing businesses and limiting gatherings.

"The idea of bringing our economy to a halt again is not something we can contemplate in the future in Manitoba," Kinew said following the debate.


Probe Research surveyed a random and representative sampling of 1,000 adults in Manitoba.

The survey was completed between Sept. 7 and 18.

A sampling of this size has with it a margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points, though that margin of error is higher within each of the population subgroups identified.

-with files from the Canadian Press and CTV's Jeff Keele Top Stories

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