August 23, 2017

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Pallister drops in popularity, but still second among premiers

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Premiere Brian Pallister </p>

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Premiere Brian Pallister

Premier Brian Pallister has dropped in popularity for the third straight quarter — but his approval rating remains second-highest in Canada, a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute shows.

The poll shows that Pallister has the approval of only 41 per cent of those Manitobans polled, down four points from three months ago, and the third straight Angus Reid poll in which he's dropped.

The poll in rounded-off figures found that 47 per cent disapprove of Pallister's performance as premier, and 13 per cent aren't sure.

Saskatchewan's Brad Wall remains Canada's most popular premier, but at 45 per cent his approval rating is below a majority for the first time since 2010, the pollster said.

Seven of Canada's 10 premiers have an approval rating below one-third, even though half of them have come up in the past three months. That includes Canada's least-popular premier, Kathleen Wynne of Ontario, whose approval rating has climbed back up to 15 per cent. She faces an election next year.

"Canadians appear increasingly underwhelmed by the performances of their provincial premiers. While some are taking steps back from alarmingly low approval levels, others find themselves sliding into previously unknown territory," the Angus Reid Institute said.

B.C.'s Christy Clark has only 34 per cent approval after winning her province's recent election with a minority government, and that's three points higher than she had going into the election. The opposition NDP, with support from the Green Party, is expected to bring down her government at the first opportunity to table a non-confidence vote.

Pallister has consistently shrugged off polls both good and bad, declaring that the only poll that counts is on election day.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by  Nick Martin.

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