Overall satisfaction with the performance of the New Brunswick provincial government has declined dramatically, reaching the lowest level in more than two decades.

  • The Liberals now lead the PCs in terms of voter support
  • Melanson has replaced Higgs as most preferred as Premier  

November 30, 2021

Satisfaction with the performance of the provincial government led by Progressive Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs has declined dramatically over the past three months, according to the latest survey by Narrative Research.  Just 31 percent of New Brunswick residents are currently satisfied with the government’s overall performance, down from majority support (57%) three months ago. Dissatisfaction is particularly elevated among residents under 55 years of age, females, and Francophones.

“The past three months have been especially challenging in New Brunswick with continued COVID-19 outbreaks, the implementation of several circuit breakers, and province-wide labour unrest,” said Margaret Brigley, CEO & Partner, Narrative Research. “There is no question that the public has grown weary of ongoing restrictions and strife.  That frustration is directly reflected in the lowest level of government satisfaction recorded in more than two decades.” 

In a reversal from last quarter, the Liberals are now in the lead in terms of decided voting intentions. If an election were held today, close to four in ten (38%) would support the Liberals, up from 29% in August 2021, while close to three in ten (28%) would support the PCs, down from 33% in August 2021. Voter support has also declined for the Green Party (14%, compared with 22% in August 2021), while it remains stable for the NDP (13%, compared with 11% last quarter). The People’s Alliance of New Brunswick has backing from five percent of decided voters (unchanged).

Regional differences are evident, with the Liberals having majority support in Northern NB by a large margin over the PCs. The Liberals also lead in Moncton and area, whereas the PCs have a modest lead in Southern NB. Generationally there are also differences, with the NDP and Liberals being equally preferred by 18 to 34 year olds. Among those 55 years of age or older, the Liberals and PCs are virtually tied.

In terms of preference for premier, fewer residents voice a preference for Higgs as premier than three months ago (19%, compared with 25% in August 2021), and he is no longer considered the most suited premier for NB compared with other options. Support for Melanson, Interim leader of the Liberal Party, has increased (23% compared with 18% in August 2021) placing him as the most preferred for Premier. Support for all other party leaders remain consistent from three months ago, including for Coon of the Green Party (16%, compared with 18% in August 2021), Austin of the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick (8%, compared with 7% three months ago) and Thomason, interim leader of the NDP (8%, compared with 7% three months ago when Chris Thompson was interim leader).

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 November 3-24, 2021, with overall results accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

Narrative Research www.narrativeresearch.ca, is non-partisan and is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. Follow us on Twitter @EveryNarrative.

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO & Partner: 902.493.3830 (W), mbrigley@narrativeresearch.ca

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