New Government in NB Off to a Strong Start

  • 56% of voters express satisfaction with performance of Premier Blaine Higgs’ minority government.
  • Voter support for PC Party has climbed more than 10 points since November.
  • Opposition parties’ support is eroding, or stable.

March 7, 2019: A majority of New Brunswick voters are satisfied with the overall performance of Premier Blaine Higgs’ provincial government, according to the latest survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates Inc.

Four months after Higgs and his Progressive Conservatives took control of the legislature, 56% of New Brunswickers are satisfied and 30% are dissatisfied with his government’s performance. Ten percent don’t have an opinion on the matter, 4% are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and 1% say it’s too soon to tell at this point in Higgs’ mandate.

Meanwhile, Higgs’ PCs have established a commanding lead in popular support, after capturing only a narrow victory in the provincial election. Among decided voters, 42% support the PC Party (compared to 30% support in polling last November, and 32% of the popular vote in the September election). At the same time, support for the various opposition parties is either stable or in decline. Among decided voters, 29% favour the Liberals (down from 35% in November), 14% back the Green Party (compared with 17%), 9% support the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick (compared to 12%) and 6% support the NDP (unchanged).

One-quarter of the electorate, 23%, is undecided about which party they would vote for should another election be held in New Brunswick today. Seven percent refuse to say which party they would support, and 3% do not plan to vote.

In terms of which party leader New Brunswickers most prefer as premier, 29% favour Higgs (up from 22% in November) and 17% express a preference for “the next leader of the Liberal Party” (in November, 25% preferred outgoing Liberal leader Brian Gallant). Meanwhile, Green Party leader David Coon is the preferred choice of 15% (compared to 17%), PANB leader Kris Austin is backed by 9% (compared to 10%) and NDP leader Jennifer McKenzie is the choice of 7% (compared to 5%). One-fifth of the electorate (21%) say they don’t know who they prefer as premier.

These results are part of the CRA Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a sample of 800 adult New Brunswickers, conducted from February 5 to 19, 2019, with overall results accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

Corporate Research Associates (CRA), www.cra.ca, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. Founded in 1978, CRA is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. Follow us on Twitter @CRAInsight.