Premier Wab Kinew and his newly elected NDP government are basking in a honeymoon phase, as support for this party has increased since October’s election. Consistent with this strong endorsement, a significant share of the province’s residents are excited and optimistic about the prospects for this new administration.
Current Voting Intentions
After taking 45 per cent of the popular vote and 34 of the 57 seats in the Manitoba Legislature on Oct. 3, the NDP now sits at 51 per cent support across the province. Support for the PCs has dipped slightly since election day (from 42% to 38%), with Manitoba Liberal support also decreasing by a similar margin (from 11% to 7%). Two per cent of decided Manitoba voters would cast a ballot for the Greens (+1%), with the same proportion preferring another party not represented in the Legislature (+1%). Overall, 13 per cent of Manitobans are undecided or would not share which party they prefer.
Two months after the election, NDP support has increased in Winnipeg (from 52% on Oct. 3 to 59% today), with this increase mainly coming at the expense of the Liberals (10%, -5% vs. the election). PC support remains relatively steady in Winnipeg (30%, down from 32%), with this party still commanding a higher share of support in the city’s outer suburbs. The NDP’s strength is evident throughout all areas of Winnipeg, ranging from a 15-point advantage in outlying suburban communities (50% vs. 35% PC) to more than double PC support in older suburban areas (62% vs. 28% PC). Meanwhile, outside Winnipeg, the PCs still command the support of one-half of decided voters (50% vs. 56% on election day), with support for the NDP up slightly (40%, +4%).
Enthusiasm for the New Government
When asked how they feel about the prospects for this NDP government, four in ten Manitobans (39%) are excited and optimistic about the new administration, while a slightly smaller proportion (37%) have some concerns but are willing to give the new premier and his party a chance to prove themselves. Sixteen per cent of Manitobans feel this new NDP government will cause damage to the province, while nearly one in ten (8%) offered no opinion.
Not surprisingly, the demographic groups that make up the NDP’s base – Winnipeggers, women, university graduates, younger adults, Indigenous Manitobans and those who identify as Two-Spirited, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (2SLGBTQIA+) – are most excited about this new administration. On the other hand, more than one-half of PC voters (51%) and Manitoba Liberal supporters (57%) indicate that even if they have concerns, they are willing to give the new government a chance to prove itself. (Nearly four in ten PC voters think electing the NDP was a mistake and the new government will harm the province.)
Expectations of the NDP's Ability to Deliver on its Campaign Promises
Despite the general enthusiasm for the new government, Manitobans are somewhat skeptical the NDP will fully deliver on its major campaign promises. Manitobans tend to be least optimistic about the NDP's ability to meet its pledges to improve health care. Although a bill to do so has been introduced, only about one in five expect the NDP to temporarily eliminate the provincial gas tax during a period of inflation, with one-quarter indicating the Kinew government will probably do this while one-third are less certain this commitment will be honoured. Only 13 per cent believe the NDP will definitely continue to provide rebates on residential education property tax, reopen emergency rooms in Winnipeg and reduce wait times for surgeries and diagnostic tests.
In fact, a much higher proportion of Manitobans (23%) expect the NDP will be unable to reduce wait times for these health care procedures, while 15 per cent believe the government will not be able to reopen emergency rooms at the Victoria, Seven Oaks and Concordia hospitals in Winnipeg.
About the Probe Research Omnibus
For more than two decades, Probe Research has undertaken quarterly omnibus surveys of random and representative samples of Manitoba adults. These scientific telephone surveys have provided strategic and proprietary insights to hundreds of public, private and not-for-profit clients on a range of social, cultural and public policy topics. The Probe Research Omnibus Survey is the province’s largest and most trusted general population survey.
Probe Research is a member of the Canadian Research Insights Council (CRIC) and confirms that this research fully complies with all CRIC Standards including the CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards and Disclosure Requirements. Learn more at: https://www.canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/por/
Probe Research surveyed a random and representative sampling of 1,000 adults residing in Manitoba between November 22 and December 1, 2023.
With a sample of 1,000, one can say with 95 per cent certainty that the results are within ± 3.1 percentage points of what they would have been if the entire adult population of Manitoba had been surveyed. The margin of error is higher within each of the survey’s population sub-groups.
The sample consists of 491 Manitobans randomly recruited via live-agent operator, 309 randomly recruited via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and 200 members of Probe Research’s online panel. All respondents completed the survey on an online platform.
Modified random digit dialing, including both landline and wireless numbers, ensured all Manitoba adults had an equal opportunity to participate in this Probe Research survey.
Minor statistical weighting has been applied to this sample so that age, regional and gender characteristics properly reflect the province’s population. All data analysis was performed using SPSS statistical analysis software.
The survey instrument was designed by Probe Research in close consultation with the Free Press.