When it comes to the province’s four major parties, it’s the leaders of the Liberal and Green Parties that have the highest net approval ratings among Manitobans, according to a new poll.

When Manitobans were asked to assess the job performances of each leader: 40 per cent said they approve PC Leader Brian Pallister, 54 per cent said they disapprove; 41 per cent approve NDP Leader Wab Kinew’s job performance, 43 per cent disapprove; 42 per cent gave their approval of Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, while 27 disapproved; and 36 per cent approve Green Party Leader James Beddome, and only 20 per cent disapprove.

The poll, conducted between Aug. 13 and 24 by Probe Research with CTV Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press, spoke with 1200 Manitobans through an online survey.

It found that when broken down into demographics, Pallister’s approval rating was highest among rural and northern residents, men and older Manitobans, while Kinew’s was with Winnipeggers, women and young adults. Both Lamont and Beddome were favourable about those living in Winnipeg, but the Liberal leader was popular among university graduates, and the Green Party leader had a high approval rating with young adults. 

As the campaigns have progressed, many Manitobans’ impressions of the PC and NDP Parties have worsened. Over 40 per cent of respondents say their view of the PC party has worsened and 19 per cent say it’s improved. The NDP saw similar numbers with 35 per cent saying their impression has worsened and 17 per cent saying it’s improved. For the Manitoba Liberals, the results were close: 27 per cent say it worsened and 22 per cent say it’s improved. The Greens were the only party to see a positive net approval rating, with 28 per cent saying their view of the party has improved and only 11 per cent saying it worsened.

 Views on Kinew’s Conviction

Survey respondents were asked about Kinew’s criminal record and whether it’s a serious issue to them or not. Four-in-ten Manitobans said it’s an issue that could impact whether they vote NDP, just over three-in-ten said they accept the leader’s explanation that he is a changed man and would consider voting for his party, while the rest said his past is irrelevant to them.

The poll found Winnipeg voters are more likely to accept that Kinew’s a changed man, compared to those living in rural Manitoba. It also shows that 69 per cent of those who plan to vote NDP in this election, as well 67 per cent of those who voted NDP in 2016 accept his explanation. 

Among NDP supporters specifically, over 75 per cent said his past makes no difference when it comes to their likelihood of voting for an NDP candidate.

Views on Pallister’s Style

The survey asked Manitobans about the fact that Pallister “has been described by some people as having a combative style,” and whether his style is helpful or unhelpful. Over half of the respondents – 56 per cent - said it’s very/somewhat unhelpful, with only 36 per cent saying it’s helpful.

Minor statistical weighting was applied to the poll to ensure age, regional and gender characteristics reflected Manitoba’s population. A statistical margin of error can’t be ascribed to an online panel, but for purposes of comparison a sample of 1200 people would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points 95 per cent of the time.

The provincial election takes place on Sept. 10.