Poll: Brian Pallister 'Grinched' for stealing Christmas, Atlantic Canada leaders lauded for bubbles

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister's 35 per cent approval rating is currently the lowest among Canada's premiers, a poll has found.

Brian Pallister, Manitoba’s premier, has been recognized as “the guy who is stealing Christmas,” after telling Manitobans to do “the right thing” and stay apart this Christmas.

Yes, that’s right, he has officially been

Grinched.

According to Maru/Blue Public Opinion’s December 2020 quarterly approval ratings of Canada’s premiers, Pallister’s rating has dropped 19 points since September, one of the largest quarterly drops in the ratings. The drop takes him from 54 per cent approval to 35 per cent.

His blunt remark: “If you don’t think that COVID is real right now, then you’re an idiot,” might’ve helped pushed him over the edge.

This viral moment, though, wasn’t the only thing that led to his drop, said John Wright, the executive vice president of Maru/Blue Public Opinion.

“They haven’t handled [COVID-19] as well as they could have out there,” said the pollster. COVID-19, overall, has really forecasted some doubt on how certain premiers are handling things, Wright said.

Jason Kenney, Alberta’s premier, took second-last place, topping Pallister at the bottom by four points. This is the lowest approval rating Kenney has seen since June 2019, when he was at 55 per cent. According to Maru/Blue, Kenney’s rating has continued to tumble since June this year.

“[Kenney] came in with a united party and was able to secure close to 50 per cent of the vote. To continually be in the basement speaks volumes to a real problem in connecting with the people of Alberta,” Wright said.

Some premiers, on the other hand, saw growth in their quarterly rankings.

Quebec’s François Legault received an early Christmas present as this quarter’s top-ranked premier, with an increase of seven points, taking him to an outstanding 70 per cent.

“It’s a remarkable rise,” Wright said. “Since he has been elected, his ratings have barely flinched.”

At the eastern end of Canada, Atlantic premiers rose in the approval ratings.

Newfoundland and Labrador premier, Andrey Furey, and Nova Scotia premier, Stephen McNeil, have both jumped in popularity this quarter. Both received a 65 per cent approval rating; Furey increased by 15-points since last quarter, and McNeil by 14-points. New Brunswick premier Blaine Higgs increased by one per cent, to 56 per cent approval rating.

This increase was no doubt due to their notable handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wright said. “They’ve handled the situation well.”

As for premiers John Horgan (B.C.) and Scott Moe (Sask.), their ratings come only after their provincial elections on Oct. 24, and Oct. 26, respectively. This not being the first time they’ve been premiers, Horgan’s rating decreased by six points to 63 per cent, and Moe’s decreased by five points to 55 per cent.

Ontario premier Doug Ford decreased three points to 53 per cent.

 Quebec Premier François Legault leads his provincial counterparts with a 70 per cent approval rating.

The smaller provinces and territories, like Prince Edward Island, Nunavut, the Yukon and Northwest Territories, don’t have big enough sample sizes to be polled.

This final approval rating of the year marks the “end of a phase,” Wright said. With the vaccine rolling out, this next quarter is crucial for premiers since it will measure the vaccination phase.

What they do now and for the next few months might lead to very different ratings come the next quarter in 2021.

These approval ratings are the results of 5,281 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of Maru/Blue’s Maru Voice Canada Online panel. Each participant was asked to provide their approval rating for the premier of their province.

The results were weighted by education, age, gender and region to match the population according to the latest Census data. This ensures that the results represent the entire adult population of Canada.

This survey is measured using the Bayesian Credibility Interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 1.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.

Source: National Post Quebec Nordiques