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Only 23% approve of the performance of Greg Selinger, who also trails Brian Pallister in the “Best Premier” question.

Vancouver, BC – Voters in Manitoba are warming up to the idea of a change in government as the provincial election campaign enters its final week, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 49% of decided voters in Manitoba would cast a ballot for the Progressive Conservative candidate in their riding. The governing New Democratic Party (NDP) is a distant second with 26%, followed by the Liberal Party with 17% and the Green Party with 7%.


The Progressive Conservatives are ahead of the New Democrats in both Winnipeg (49% to 28%) and the rest of the province (50% to 23%). In addition, the PCs have an extraordinary retention rate, with 94% of Manitobans who voted for the party in 2011 saying they will do so again this month. The NDP has a retention rate of 58%, with 17% of its 2011 voters saying they will support the Progressive Conservatives this time around.

Four-in-five PC voters (81%) say they will not change their minds before election day on April 19, along with 74% of NDP voters. The proportion is lower for Manitobans who say they would cast a ballot for the Liberal Party (61%).

Only one-in-four Manitobans (23%) approve of the performance of Premier and NDP leader Greg Selinger, while two-thirds (67%) disapprove. The numbers are similar for Liberal leader Rana Bokhari (26% approve, 54% disapprove), while 53% of residents are undecided about Green Party leader James Beddome.

Manitobans are currently split in their assessment of Official Opposition and Progressive Conservative Party leader Brian Pallister, with 45% approving of his performance, and 43% disapproving. Pallister’s momentum score of -4 is decidedly better than that of Selinger (-35) and Bokhari (-41, with 50% of Manitobans saying their opinion of the Liberal leader has worsened since the start of the campaign).

More than a third of Manitobans (37%) think Pallister is the best choice to lead the provincial government, followed by Selinger with 16%, Bokhari with 10% and Beddome with 5%. One-third of residents (33%) are undecided.

At least a third of Manitobans also consider Pallister as the best leader to handle crime and public safety (39%), the economy and jobs (37%), government accountability (34%) and energy and pipelines (33%). The PC leader is also ahead of his rivals on education (31%) and housing, poverty and homelessness (27%), and is tied with Beddome on environment (24% each).

“Opposition leader Pallister has clearly connected with his party’s base, but has expanded his reach during the campaign,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “He is ahead of Premier Selinger on the issues that matter the most to Manitobans, and has superior approval and momentum scores.”

The economy and jobs (28%) is the most important issue for residents, followed by health care (22%), housing, poverty and homelessness (14%) and accountability (11%).

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from April 5 to April 7, 2016, among 505 Manitoba adults, including 409 decided voters in the 2016 provincial election. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Manitoba. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.3 percentage points for the entire sample and +/- 4.8 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty. Click to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Scazon