Five months after he was elected premier, close to half of Manitobans still can't make up their minds whether they think Greg Selinger is doing a good job.
Angus Reid Public Opinion surveys Canadians every three months on whether they approve or disapprove of the job their premier is doing. The results of the latest survey were released today.
There's good news and bad news for Selinger here. The good news is he has the third highest approval rating among Canadian premiers. The bad news is that only 27 per cent of Manitobans say they approve of the job he is doing -- down two percentage points from December, when he had only been on the job for two months.
Having won Manitoba's highest office through an NDP party leadership contest last fall, succeeding Gary Doer, Selinger still appears to be an unknown to many Manitobans. That's borne out by the whopping 45 per cent of Manitobans surveyed who said they were still unsure about the new premier's performance -- far higher than for any other premier.
For the record, the most popular premier in the land continues to be Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador, with an 80 per cent approval rating, followed by Saskatchewan's Brad Wall at 56 per cent.
Needing a little love from their voters are Alberta's Ed Stelmach and New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, both of whom have a disapproval rating of 62 per cent. British Columbia's Gordon Campbell has the third highest disapproval rating, at 60 per cent.
While 27 per cent of Manitobans approve of the job Selinger is doing, 28 per cent disapprove, according to the survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent in Manitoba. Three months ago, 29 per cent of Manitobans approved the job Selinger was doing, 22 per cent disapproved and 50 per cent weren't sure. (The numbers don't add up because of rounding.)
The difference in the results between the last survey and this one for Selinger could be explained by the margin of error -- or it may have something to do with the state of the province's books.
When surveyed in November, Manitobans were unaware that the province would be well over a half billion dollars in the red in 2009-2010. But many were aware of the bad news by the time Angus Reid did its February survey.