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Poll shows Wab Kinew has highest approval rating among Canadian premiers

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He has only been in office since October, but Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew is already boasting the highest approval rating among Canadian premiers, according to a new poll.

The poll, released Monday by Angus Reid, shows Kinew has an approval rating of 57 per cent among Manitobans surveyed. Of that number, 21 per cent say they ‘strongly approve’ of Kinew.

Kinew is followed by Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, who has an approval rating of 54 per cent. Premier Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador and Premier Tim Houston of Nova Scotia are tied with a 48 per cent approval rating.

Quebec’s Francois Legault had the lowest approval rating among premiers in Canada, falling to 31 per cent, a 16 per cent decrease from the previous poll.

Kinew’s polling is a stark contrast from his predecessor Heather Stefanson, who ranked dead last in the previous four polls of premiers going back to December 2022.

KINEW, NDP IN HONEYMOON PERIOD: POLITICAL SCIENTIST

Christopher Adams, adjunct professor of political science at the University of Manitoba, says Kinew is currently in his honeymoon period, which typically correlates with a high popularity for a premier.

“Polling numbers show that after leaders change, like in a convention or they choose a new leader, often there is a big significant bump in the polls,” he said. “So I think this is something comparable going on here.”

Adams says Kinew and the NDP made a lot of promises on the campaign trail, including fixing health care and making life more affordable for Manitobans, which could impact approval as his term continues.

“He's made commitments, many of which are difficult to fulfill, such as correcting our health-care sector,” he said. “So, we'll have to see how that works its way through.”

Adams says there is currently a sense of optimism among Manitobans about Kinew’s election as premier.

“It'd be surprising if he could hold these numbers at this high level,” he said. “But other premiers do, like Scott Moe next door in Saskatchewan, holds very high numbers and has consistently done so with the Angus Reid poll. So there's an opportunity for Wab Kinew to have the type of popularity that Gary Doer did have some years ago as a multi-term Premier.”

METHODOLOGY

Angus Reid conducted the poll between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, surveying 3,749 people across Canada. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four per cent.

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