Overall satisfaction with the New Brunswick government’s performance has declined, although it remains strong and above pre-pandemic levels.

  • Gap widens between PCs and Liberals in decided voter intentions
  • Higgs remains most preferred as Premier.

June 3, 2021

Satisfaction with the performance of the provincial government led by Progressive Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs has declined, but remains strong and above pre-pandemic levels (48% in February 2020). Six in ten are satisfied with the provincial government’s performance (60%, down from 69% in February 2021), according to the latest survey by Narrative Research.  

While satisfaction levels are high across the province, some regional differences are evident. Residents in Southern New Brunswick express a somewhat higher level of satisfaction (66%) than those in Moncton and surrounding area (61%) or Northern New Brunswick (51%).

“These high satisfaction levels are undoubtedly linked to the public’s overall positive response to the government’s handling of the pandemic. In the coming months, satisfaction levels will reflect the Higgs government’s management of its economic recovery plan, including the province’s reopening,” said Margaret Brigley, Narrative Research’s CEO. “These results represent a snapshot of public opinion as of the end of May, prior to the launch of reopening plans.”

When considering voter intentions, results indicate that if an election were held today, New Brunswick decided voters are more likely to favour the PCs (39%) than the Liberals (28%). Support for the PCs has increased modestly (39%, compared with 35% in February), and that for the Liberals has modestly declined (28%, compared with 32%), widening the gap. Support for the Green Party remains stable (18%, compared with 20% in February). The New Democratic Party garners backing from eight percent of the public, and the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick has six percent of the decided vote (vs. 6% for NDP and PANB each in February 2021).

In terms of preference for premier, Higgs remains the most preferred. Three-in-ten residents (30%) voice preference for Higgs as premier, unchanged from February 2021. Coon, leader of the Green Party, holds steady at 18% of voter preference (consistent with 17% in February), while Melanson, who stepped in as interim Liberal leader after the election last year, is preferred as premier by 17% (consistent with 19% in February). Austin, of the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick, is preferred by seven percent (compared with 6% last quarter), while six percent would prefer Chris Thompson, interim leader of NDP (compared with 4% for interim leader Mackenzie Thomason in February).  

These results are part of Narrative Research’s Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are drawn from a sample of 800 adult New Brunswickers, conducted from May 6 – 31, 2021, 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. 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 (bus); 902.222.7066 (M) mbrigley@narrativeresearch.ca

To read as a pdf, including data tables, click here.

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