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Kinew again sees highest approval among Canadian premiers: poll

For the second consecutive time, Manitoba’s premier has the highest approval rating among all provincial leaders across Canada.

According to a new poll released Monday, Premier Wab Kinew topped all premiers with a 63 per cent approval rating. His approval was a six-point increase from the poll conducted in December 2023.

“This is not just simple honeymoon glow for the NDP, I would say that people are generally happy with what the government is doing,” said Christopher Adams, an adjunct professor of political science at the University of Manitoba.

Kinew is ahead of Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, whose approval dropped one point to 53 per cent. Moe is the only other premier in Canada to see their ratings above 50 per cent.

Adams said Kinew’s continued popularity is a result of several factors.

“He has come through on some of his commitments,” he said. “He created the Orange Shirt Day that will be happening this year. He’s got the provincial sales tax on gasoline removed as of the beginning of January. And his demeanour during the tragic, alleged murders in Carman. He’s shown real statesmen-like demeanour.

“I would say that that he hasn’t had many mistakes or any mistakes that I’ve seen. He’s got a newly minted cabinet. They haven’t been making mistakes and I think most people in Manitoba are giving the NDP a wait-and-see type of view regarding issues that we still deal with, particularly with the health-care system.”

Kinew has been premier since October 2023, and Adams said he’s likely at the end of his honeymoon phase, noting the upcoming budget on April 2 will likely have an impact on Kinew’s approval.

“Some tough choices have to be made, in terms of spending, in terms of maintaining tax cuts, which they’ve been doing so far,” Adams said. “And also about helping to relieve the pressures on the health-care sector, as well as areas in education.”

The poll was conducted between Feb. 28 and March 6, 2024, among a representative randomized sample of 4,550 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. Of that number, 354 were from Manitoba.

The margin of error is plus/minus five per cent.

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