Almost half of decided Manitoba voters support PC party: survey
Kayla Rosen, CTV Winnipeg
Published Tuesday, October 9, 2018 4:54PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, October 10, 2018 6:21PM CST
If the provincial election was taking place today, Manitoba’s governing party would come out on top according to a new poll.
“The governing party is doing very well, the public is giving them a long leash and they have lots of time for them. And the opposition parties are really struggling to get their feet, I think, right now,” said Scott MacKay, president of Probe Research.
Between Sept. 19 and Sept. 28 Probe Research, in partnership with CTV Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press, surveyed 1,116 Manitoba residents about which provincial party candidate they’d be mostly likely to support if the election were tomorrow.
The results show that across the province 44 per cent of decided or leaning voters would support the Progressive Conservatives , 25 per cent would back the NDP and 20 per cent would vote Liberal. Only eight per cent of respondents said if the election were tomorrow they’d check the Green Party on their ballot.
In total, 15 per cent of those surveyed said they are undecided.
Political scientist Chris Adams says the numbers show the last few months have been fairly smooth for the premier.
"Brian Pallister's had a pretty good summer, we've come through the summer without any major real problems," said Adams
Pallister suggests the poll reflects his government’s work, including reducing the deficit and addressing wait times.
"We're making progress and I think Manitobans are seeing that and I thank them for their patience as we work through these challenges together," he said.
Adams says NDP leader Wab Kinew is facing a couple of problems right now.
"So there's some issues that Wab Kinew didn't make on his own but he's got to face," said Adams.
Adams says Kinew has been dogged recently by missteps from the previous NDP government, from the stadium loan to a contaminated soil report that was kept under wraps for a decade.
"Being 100 per cent honest with you we've had some setbacks this year with some of the past issues being raised and so that's certainly something I'm going to continue to have to manage as leader, " said Kinew.
Adams says the Liberals are going through a resurgence with four seats and official party status after leader Dougald Lamont won a summer by election in St. Boniface.
"I think it's something people are waking up to, the fact is the Manitoba Liberal party is in the best position it's been in to grow for a generation," said Lamont
Close competition in Winnipeg
In Winnipeg, which accounts for 653 of respondents, the PCs (34 per cent) and NDP (32 per cent) are neck and neck among decided or leaving votes, while about a quarter said they support the Liberals and seven per cent are backing the Green Party.
“In the city things are much tighter and the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP are really, virtually neck and neck. They’re within the margin of error on the survey, in terms of their levels of support. So there is a regional issue going on here, there really always has been,” said MacKay.
Dividing Winnipeg by region, the survey found major support for the PC party could be found in the city’s southeast and northeast , while support for the NDP is highest in Winnipeg’s northwest.
When the survey broke down the respondents into demographic subgroups, it found that 52 per cent of decided or leaning men and 48 per cent of residents who make over $100,000 would likely vote PC.
The NDP’s support is primarily built around people aged 35 to 54 (28 per cent), and college and university grads (28 per cent).
“The other important thing to watch is gender. Women have typically been strong supporters of the New Democrats, especially when the New Democrats are doing well and they are able to form government. It means the women have really lined up behind them and that is not the case at the moment,” said MacKay.
As for whether things can change between now and the election in 2020, MacKay said it’s very possible.
“A lot can change. You know there’s a saying that ‘a week is an eternity in politics’ so two years (until the next election) is really an eternity and a lot can happen,” he said.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error is higher within the demographic subgroups.
- With files from CTV's Jeff Keele