- The gap narrows between PCs and Liberals in decided voter intentions
- Higgs remains most preferred as Premier
HALIFAX, August 27, 2020: Overall satisfaction with the performance of the provincial government led by Premier Blaine Higgs remains high, albeit down slightly from spring results (76%, down from 81% in May 2020). While satisfaction has undoubtedly been positively influenced by the public’s perceptions of the government’s management during the pandemic, findings suggest that an election call may have negatively impacted some residents’ perceptions.
“The election was announced mid data collection, so we were able to see what impact, if any, calling an election may have had on public perceptions of the PC party.” said Margaret Brigley, CEO of Narrative Research. “There seemingly has been an impact. Pre-election call, satisfaction levels with the government were consistent with what they were in the spring – at unprecedented high levels (81%). Post-election call, that satisfaction level dropped to 67%. The question then becomes will that level be sustained over the next few weeks leading up to the election?”
When considering voter intentions, overall a slight change is evident, although New Brunswick decided voters continue to be most likely to favour the PCs in an election (44%, compared with 48% last quarter). Support for the Liberals is generally consistent with last quarter (33%, compared with 30%), however the slight shift in voting intentions for both parties narrows the gap to 11 points, consistent with pre-pandemic levels. Support for the Green Party sits at 14% (compared with 15% in May 2020), while the NDP receives 7% of mentions (compared with 5% last quarter). The People’s Alliance of New Brunswick gathers 2% of the vote (compared with 3% last quarter). Among all residents, one-quarter do not know who they would vote for (26%), eight percent refuse to state who they would vote for, and three percent do not plan to vote.
“When looking at voting intentions pre- and post-election call, there are a few notable differences, in that after the election was called voters indicated they are less likely to vote PC, more likely to vote for the Green Party, and as likely to vote for the Liberals,” added Brigley. “Right now, it appears the PCs are in a good position, but these results reflect a snapshot at one point in time. If that trend were to continue, a majority would be less likely for the PCs.”
In terms of preference for premier, Higgs remains most preferred this quarter, with four-in-ten residents voicing preference for Higgs as premier (38%, compared with 41% in May 2020). Conversely, Vickers is preferred as premier by 20% (up from 15% in May 2020), while Coon holds steady at 14% of voter preference (consistent with May 2020). Austin is preferred by 3% (compared with 4% in May 2020), and a similar percentage would prefer Thomason as premier (5%, compared with 2% in May 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 August 5 – 23, 2020, with overall results accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times. Preference for Premier is based on a sample of 400 adult New Brunswickers, with overall results accurate to within ± 4.9 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.
Narrative Research www.narrativeresearch.ca, 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 @EveryNarrative.
For more information, please contact:
Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research at 902.222.7066, firstname.lastname@example.org