Overall satisfaction with the performance of the New Brunswick provincial government remains high, and well above pre-pandemic levels.

Reflective of September’s election results, support for the PCs is evident both in decided voting intentions, and in a clear preference for Higgs as premier.

HALIFAX, December 8th, 2020

Overall satisfaction with the performance of the provincial government led by Premier Blaine Higgs remains high and is generally consistent with pre-election results (72% compared with 76% in August 2020). These elevated results likely reflect public’s general satisfaction with the government’s handling of the pandemic.

“This has been an extremely challenging time to govern.  With increased caseloads and evidence of COVID-19 community spread, the New Brunswick government has introduced difficult restrictions on businesses and travel that have significant impact,” said Margaret Brigley, Narrative Research’s CEO.  “Despite those actions, the levels of overall satisfaction enjoyed by the provincial government since the pandemic are unprecedented and suggest that New Brunswickers are generally supportive of government actions.”

While satisfaction levels are high across the province, some regional differences are evident.  In particular, those in Southern New Brunswick express a somewhat higher level of satisfaction (78%) than those in Moncton and area (73%) and Northern New Brunswick (64%). Further, satisfaction increases notably with age, and residents whose mother tongue is English are generally more satisfied than Francophones (77% vs. 64%).

Although the provincial election happened only a few months ago, residents were asked their voter intentions.  Results indicate that if an election were held today, New Brunswick decided voters would most likely favor the PCs (41%, compared with 44% last quarter). Support for the Liberals is generally consistent with last quarter (28%, compared with 33%), while support for the Green Party sits at 20% (compared with 14% in August 2020).  The NDP receives 6% of mentions (compared with 7% last quarter), while the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick gathers 4% of the vote (compared with 2% last quarter).

In terms of preference for premier, Higgs remains most preferred this quarter, with four-in-ten residents voicing preference for Higgs as premier (39%, compared with 38% in August 2020). Melanson, who stepped in as interim Liberal leader after the election, is preferred as premier by 17% (consistent with 20% in August 2020 for Vickers), while Coon holds steady at 16% of voter preference (consistent with 14% in August 2020). Austin is preferred by 6% (compared with 3% in August 2020), and a similar percentage would prefer Thomason as premier (4%, compared with 5% in August 2020).

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 November 5 – 22, 2020, 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

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