SASKATCHEWAN Premier Brad Wall, who announced his departure earlier this year, is back into majority approval in that province, according to the latest quarterly analysis of polling data from the Angus Reid Institute. He will leave politics as most popular premier in the country. This is a position he has held or co-held in each quarter of tracking since 2010.
The only other Canadian provincial leader approaching majority approval is the newest addition to their ranks – British Columbia’s John Horgan. The BC NDP leader has had a busy quarter, announcing a referendum on electoral reform and approving the hotly debated Site C dam. Horgan, the second-most approved of relative to his provincial peers, has the sanction of 49 per cent of residents.
There are several premiers who hold the approval of a nearly identical number of their constituents. Manitoba’s Brian Pallister (34%), Quebec’s Philippe Couillard (32%), and Alberta’s Rachel Notley (32%) are all approved of by one-in-three. Each was within three points of this mark last quarter as well.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne remains the least popular provincial leader in the country, though the picture is not as dire as it was earlier in the year. Wynne hit a low point of just 12 per cent approval in March, but appears to be climbing out of the depths. After confirming plans to raise the minimum wage to $14 at the beginning of 2018, and again to $15 in 2019, she sees a third consecutive quarterly rise, this time up 3 points to hold the approval of one-in-five Ontarians (20%). Wynne faces re-election in 2018.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball has been among the lower ranks in premier approval since the second quarter of his term. This wave however, he makes the largest jump, up eight points to 35 per cent approval.
The biggest drop in approval this quarter belongs to Brian Gallant, who has sees his approval down 12 points since September.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, who was re-elected in May, is down 10 points this quarter.