Support for Manitoba PCs drops during pandemic, poll suggests

By | June 20, 2020

Manitoba’s governing Progressive Conservatives have lost support from people in the province over the last three months, and are now in a statistical tie with the New Democratic Party, a new poll suggests.

The poll asked those surveyed which party’s candidate they would vote for if an election were held tomorrow and how they would rate the Pallister government’s response to the pandemic.

Support for the PCs among Manitoba voters who are either leaning toward a certain party or who have already decided who they would mark their ballot for dropped five points (down to 38 per cent) compared to the last Probe Research poll done in March.

Meanwhile, more than one-third of Manitobans (or 36 per cent) would now back the provincial NDP — a three per cent jump since March.

The poll suggests the NDP leads over the PCs in most areas of seat-dense Winnipeg (with 44 per cent support compared to 25 per cent), with the exception of the southeast part of the city, where the two parties are statistically tied.

Support for the Manitoba Liberal Party went up four percent (to 18 per cent) since the last poll, while support for the Green Party went down one percent (to 14 per cent). In Winnipeg, the Liberals have 21 per cent support and the Greens have 8 per cent, the poll suggests.

Fourteen per cent of Manitoba voters surveyed are still undecided, the poll suggests.

Public weighs in on Mantioba’s COVID-19 response

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of respondents strongly or somewhat approve of the Manitoba government’s efforts to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, with rural Manitobans, people over age 55 and non-Indigenous most likely to praise the response.

On the other hand, six in 10 (61 per cent) approve of the government’s response to the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus, with a much sharper divide between residents in Winnipeg and those living outside the province’s capital. Winnipeggers are less likely to approve of the government’s work on this front, the poll suggests.

The poll suggests there are critical differences of opinion depending on party preference. The majority of those who would vote for the NDP or Liberals approve of the government’s response to public health, but only one-third (33 per cent) of NDP supporters and one-half (51 per cent) of Liberal supporters give high marks.

About nine in 10 PC supporters praised the way their preferred party dealt with public health and economics.

The Probe Research survey, which was conducted for the Winnipeg Free Press, surveyed a random and representative sampling of 1,000 adults living in Manitoba between June 2 and June 11. In addition, 221 randomly recruited Probe Research panel members were included in the general population adult sampling.

With that sample, the poll says with 95 per cent certainty the results are within +/- 3.1 percentage points of what they would have been had Manitoba’s entire adult population been surveyed.

The poll used modified random digit dialing and included landline and mobile numbers. A live-voice operator randomly recruited people by telephone, inviting them to take the survey through a secure online questionnaire.

Minor statistical weighing was applied to the sample to make sure age and gender characteristics properly reflect known attributes of the province’s population.

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