News / Winnipeg

Manitoba's premier has lowest disapproval rating, poll says

Pallister's approval rating is second best, but his disapproval is second-to-none.

This man has fewer people disapproving of his performance than any other premier.

Metro File

This man has fewer people disapproving of his performance than any other premier.

Manitoba’s new Premier Brian Pallister is the least disliked provincial leader in all the land.

Sure, he’s the second-most popular premier—with 53 per cent of Manitoban respondents to a new Angus Reid Institute poll saying they approve how he’s been running the province—but his disapproval rating is a bottom-of-the-class 32 per cent.

His honourable next-door neighbour to the west, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, has more support, with a marginally better 57-per-cent approval rating, but 40 per cent disapprove of Wall’s performance.

Six of nine Premiers have a disapproval rating of greater than 50 per cent, including two greater than 70 per cent.

Pallister’s advantage in the disapproval category is likely that he has only been premier for about half a year—hardly long enough to taint public opinion any more than (approving) people give him the benefit of the doubt.

The fact that the electoral-jury is still out on Pallister is illustrated best with the vote-splitting 15 per cent of Manitobans polled who are “not sure” if they approve or not—the largest percentage of undecided respondents any Premier faces.

Depending on whether those who aren’t sure remain on the fence or fall to the “approve” or “disapprove” side in the next quarterly poll, Pallister could either pass Wall for the top spot on approval or lose his least-disliked crown.

So far, he seems to be trending up, with his approval having increased 7 points since the 46 per cent initial approval he received a month after the landslide April election.

On the other hand, another question in a separate Angus Reid poll showed approximately 57 per cent of Manitobans suspect Pallister’s government has a “hidden agenda.”