Honeymoon ends for NB PCs, as gap narrows with Liberals

  • Three in ten voters now undecided.
  • One-half of New Brunswickers satisfied with performance of Higgs government.
  • Green Party leader David Coon in second place in leadership ratings.

September 17, 2019: The honeymoon enjoyed by New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative Party following its election victory in 2018 appears to be over, with the governing party losing six points in support among decided voters this quarter, according to the latest survey by Narrative Research.

Premier Blaine Higgs’ PCs still lead the other parties, with 36% support, however that is down sharply from 42% in both May and February of 2019. The gap between the PCs and the Liberal Party is now seven points, with the Liberals sitting at 29% of decided voter support (compared with 25% in May and 29% in February). Support for the Green Party is unchanged at 18% (compared with 18% and 14%), the People’s Alliance of NB (PANB) is backed by 8% (compared with 6% and 9%) and the NDP is supported by 6% (compared with 8% and 6%).

Much of the PC’s lost support appears to be bolstering the ranks of undecided voters, who now account for 29% of the overall total, a six point increase over the previous three quarters. Another 6% refuse to state which party they support and 3% do not plan to vote.

Meanwhile, one-half of New Brunswickers (50%) are reportedly satisfied with the performance of the Higgs’ government (compared with 53% in May and 56% in February).

On the question of which party leader voters would most prefer as premier, Higgs maintains his command of the leadership ratings with 29% support (unchanged over the past six months), while Green leader David Coon is now in second place with 21% support (up from 17% in May and 15% in February). Liberal leader Kevin Vickers is the preferred leader of 16% (compared with 19% in May, after he became party leader), Kris Austin of the PANB is preferred by 9% (compared with 8% and 9%) and the NDP’s interim leader Mackenzie Thomason is preferred by 2%.

Eighteen percent of voters don’t know which of the party leaders they prefer, and 4% prefer none of the main party leaders.

These results are part of Narrative Research’s Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a sample of 800 adult New Brunswickers, conducted from August 2 to August 23, 2019, with overall results accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times. 

Narrative Research www.narrativeresearch.ca, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. Founded in 1978 as Corporate Research Associates, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. Follow us on Twitter @EveryNarrative.


For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research at (902) 493-3830, mbrigley@narrativeresearch.ca

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