McNeil Liberals make major gains in satisfaction, voter intentions and leader preference

  • Satisfaction with the performance of the provincial government soars to a record high.
  • Considerable gains made in decided voter support for Liberal Party.
  • Among party leaders, residents voice clear preference for McNeil as premier.

HALIFAX, May 25, 2020: Nova Scotians’ satisfaction with the overall performance of the Liberal government led by Premier Stephen McNeil has taken a large jump reaching a record high of 77% this quarter, up from 48% in February 2020, according to the latest survey by Narrative Research.

Decided voter support for the Liberals has risen to 57% (up from 43% in February), while the PCs garner 22% of decided voter intentions (compared with 27% in February). Voter support for the New Democratic Party has declined slightly to 15% (compared with 21% in February). The Green Party holds support from six percent of decided voters in the province (down from 10% in February). One-quarter (27%) of residents in the province indicate they do not know who they would vote for in an upcoming election. Three percent do not plan to vote, and six percent refuse to state their choice.

In terms of leadership preference, McNeil continues to hold the preferred spot with 44%, (up from 31% in February), further widening the gap with Houston, who distantly follows with 15% (compared with 17% in February). Houston is aligned more closely with the proportion preferring Burrill at 13% (compared with 15% in February). Trappenberg is most preferred as Premier by six percent of the electorate (as compared to 9% in February), and Bethell by one percent (unchanged). Eighteen percent of voters are undecided on the matter of leadership, while three percent prefer none of the leaders.

“This strong level of support for Premier McNeil and his government is unprecedented during his time in office and reflects the high level of confidence the public has expressed with his leadership throughout the pandemic,” said Margaret Brigley, CEO of Narrative Research.  “It’s not surprising that support for a government is escalated during a time of crisis given the increased profile and regular public briefings. For the moment that confidence has translated into increased voter intentions for the Liberal Party.”

These results are part of Narrative Research’s Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent, quarterly telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a sample of 804 adult Nova Scotians, conducted from April 30 – May 17, 2020, with overall results accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

Narrative Research,, 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 at @EveryNarrative.


For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research at 902.222.7066 (M),

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