Overall satisfaction with the performance of the New Brunswick provincial government remains high despite continued downward trend over the last year.

  • The gap has narrowed in decided voter support for the PCs compared with the Liberals though PC support remains higher.
  • Higgs remains most preferred as Premier, despite a decline in popularity.

September 22, 2021: Satisfaction with the performance of the provincial government led by Progressive Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs has been trending downward this year but nonetheless remains strong and above pre-pandemic levels. Fifty-seven percent are satisfied with the provincial government’s performance (compared with 60% in May 2021 and 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 Northern New Brunswick are less likely to express satisfaction than those in Moncton and surrounding area or Southern New Brunswick. Similar to May 2021, a majority of Anglophones are satisfied with the provincial government, while one-half of Francophones are dissatisfied.

Decided voting intentions continue to place the Progressive Conservative Party in the lead if there was an election held today in New Brunswick, despite a small decline over the past three months (33%, compared with 39% in May 2021). Support for the Liberals was maintained over the last quarter (29%, compared with 28% last quarter). Voter support remains stable for both Green Party (22%, compared with 18% in May 2021), and for the NDP (11%, compared with 8% last quarter). The People’s Alliance of New Brunswick has backing from five percent of decided voters (compared with 6% in May 2021).

Regional differences are evident, with the PCs leading among Southern NB decided voters, while the Liberals are favoured in Northern NB. Those in Moncton and area prefer both parties equally. Generationally there are also differences, with the Green Party being the top choice of residents 18 to 34 years old, while the PCs is clearly favoured by those 55 years or older. The Liberals are notably more likely to be preferred by Francophones compared with Anglophones.   

In terms of preference for premier, marginally fewer residents voice a preference for Higgs as premier than reported three months ago (25%, compared with 30% in May 2021), although he is still considered the most suited premier for NB compared with other options. Support for all other party leaders remain consistent from three months ago, placing both Coon (18%, unchanged from May 2021) and Melanson (18%, compared with 17% last quarter) in close second as the preferred premier. Austin of the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick and Thompson, interim leader of the NDP each capture the support of seven percent of residents (unchanged since May 2021 for Austin and compared with 6% for Thompson).

Regional differences are still evident, with Higgs receiving stronger support in Southern NB and Moncton and area. Support for Melanson is lowest in Southern NB. Once again, Anglophones express a clear preference for Higgs, while support for Melanson is strongest among Francophones.

These results are part of Narrative Research’s Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are drawn from a sample of 604 adult New Brunswickers, conducted from August 5-17, 2021, with overall results accurate to within ± 4.0 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, contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research at 902.493-3830, mbrigley@narrativeresearch.ca

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