Brian Pallister will return to work as usual in the premier’s seat this fall if projections made by Mainstreet Research following the firm’s latest Manitoba poll prove accurate.
The political polling firm surveyed 797 Manitobans about the party they plan to vote for in the provincial election and their feelings towards the four major leaders between Sept. 3 and 4.
On Friday, it published a report that suggests Manitobans should expect a PC majority victory on Sept. 10 — with the PCs leading the pack by nine points.
The firm’s president and chief executive officer, Quito Maggi told the Free Press the PCs are poised to win between 32 and 35 of the 57 seats in the legislature. Twenty-nine seats are needed for a majority.
"They should sweep, or just about," said Joseph Angolano, vice-president of Mainstreet Research.
Its results show among decided and leaning voters, the runner-up NDP have 34 per cent of support to the PCs’ 43 per cent. The Liberals and Greens trailed at 15 and six per cent, respectively. The poll has a margin of error of 3.44 per cent and is accurate 19 times out of 20. Respondents were contacted through a random-digit dial.
Angolano said the results are similar to those the firm found three weeks ago when it took the pulse of the electorate. "This has been a pretty bland election. It’s hard to imagine a situation where the political train in Manitoba’s going to change dramatically," he said.
“We have unveiled a very ambitious plan to move this province forward, we’re very proud of that plan and we’re committed to fulfilling all the commitments that we have made in this election.” — Rochelle Squires, the PC candidate for Riel
In Winnipeg, the NDP is leading by about six points, but the Tories are up 29 points elsewhere in Manitoba. Meanwhile, Pallister maintained the highest negative rating on favourability of all the leaders.
Angolano said Saturday that recently, there’s been a trend of electorates voting in leaders who are least favourable than other candidates. "It’s just an inability by party leaders all over Canada to get Canadians to like them," he said, adding voters are increasingly becoming "ambivalent" towards candidates.
During a Saturday press conference, Rochelle Squires, the PC candidate for Riel, took the stand to tell reporters she is "very proud" of the party’s campaign. "We have unveiled a very ambitious plan to move this province forward, we’re very proud of that plan and we’re committed to fulfilling all the commitments that we have made in this election," Squires said.
NDP leader Wab Kinew shared similar sentiments of pride during an orange rally during the last stretch of the campaign. On the latest poll results, Kinew said he’s most concerned about the poll that’s going to be held Tuesday.
"What you’re seeing is the field is thinning to a two horse race," Kinew said. "So Manitobans have a choice — do they want more cuts with Mr. Pallister or do they want our team to start fixing healthcare."
Liberal leader Dougald Lamont acknowledged Saturday many voters are still undecided. "A lot of people still have to make up their minds," he said.
Trailing behind the others significantly in polling numbers, the Green Party of Manitoba said Saturday it’s "just getting started."
"We want to get one, two, three in the legislature and we’ll be building maybe as fast as the P.E.I. Greens," David Nickarz, the Green candidate for Wolseley, said Saturday.
Leader James Beddome added the Greens are already positively influencing the political agenda, citing other parties copying their basic income and education tax reform plans.
— With files from Jessica Botelho-Urbanski
Maggie is a cub reporter who covers every beat in the newsroom. She appreciates alliteration, when newspaper ink stains her fingertips and, more importantly, tips on social and environmental equity issues.