Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Passing grade given to Selinger in survey

But 48% of Manitobans unsure about PCs' Pallister

  • Print

Fifty per cent of Manitobans approve of the job Premier Greg Selinger is doing, while nearly as many have yet to make up their minds about new Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister.

According to a new Winnipeg Free Press/Probe Research Inc. poll, 48 per cent of Manitobans (52 per cent in Winnipeg) are either unfamiliar with Pallister or feel they need more time before they pass judgment.

Pallister was acclaimed as provincial Tory leader on July 30 and elected to the legislature in a byelection Sept. 4. He succeeded Hugh McFadyen, who stepped down after failing to improve the party's standing in last fall's general election.

The poll shows the Conservatives failed to achieve the bump in popular support that often accompanies a change in party leadership.

When Manitobans were asked which party they would vote for if an election were held tomorrow, 45 per cent said they would vote for the NDP, 38 per cent backed the PCs and 11 per cent favoured the Liberals. The popular-vote breakdown in the Oct. 4, 2011 provincial election was 47 per cent NDP, 43 per cent PC and eight per cent Liberal.

Scott MacKay, president of Probe Research, said it's no surprise Manitobans have yet to get a read on Pallister, a cabinet minister in the government of former premier Gary Filmon and a federal member of Parliament who hasn't held elected office since 2008.

Pallister is essentially beginning with a "blank slate," said MacKay, which may work to his advantage or disadvantage.

"Politics is rougher than it used to be," the pollster said. "Nowadays, the opportunity for (opposing parties) to be the first one in to define you is always there."

While only 33 per cent of Manitobans so far approve of Pallister's performance as leader, the silver lining for him is comparatively few (19 per cent) have a negative opinion of him.

Selinger appears to be more popular with Manitobans than his party. Although 50 per cent of provincial voters approve of the job he's doing, only 45 per cent would vote NDP, according to the poll.

Pallister refused to comment directly on the poll results, but said it's "pretty understandable" that many Manitobans don't know him well yet.

"I expect the challenge for me remains the same as it was a few weeks ago when I was named leader: that is, to let Manitobans know honestly who I am and what our party stands for," he said in an interview.

Though Pallister has made some policy pronouncements, he has focused much of his attention so far on strengthening his party, which will hold its convention in Winnipeg on Saturday.

The convention was originally organized to pick its new leader but was converted to a business meeting and policy-making forum when Pallister was unopposed for the party leadership. Up to 400 delegates are expected to attend the meeting, with 500 anticipated for a gala evening fundraiser.

Pallister said the convention will focus on internal party matters. One resolution expected to come up for debate would ensure constituencies are rebated 30 per cent of all money they bring in through fundraisers.

Another motion would grandfather memberships so they need not be renewed until after the next general election.

Pallister said the process of collecting $10 memberships each year is "extremely cumbersome" and time-consuming. Party members will debate whether that time would be better spent on policy development and other activities.

 

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Approval for provincial leaders*

LeaderApproveDisapproveUnsure

Greg Selinger50%29%21%

Brian Pallister33%19%48%

Jon Gerrard33%35%32%

*A random and representative sampling of 1,000 Manitobans was asked whether they generally approve or disapprove of each leader's performance. The poll was conducted by telephone between Sept. 19 and Oct. 14. The results are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 25, 2012 A6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Geese take cover in long grass in the Tuxedo Business Park near Route 90 Wednesday- Day 28– June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A Canada goose flies towards the sun near the Perimeter Highway North and Main St Monday afternoon – See Day 10 for Bryksa’s 30 goose project - May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What should the city do with the 102-year-old Arlington Street bridge?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google