Monday, April 8, 2013

Unpopular Premiers vs. Semi-Popular Opposition Leaders

Angus-Reid has come out with its usual approval/disapproval poll for all ten nine premiers of the provinces in this country (we don't count the territories, not even Yukon, for some reason), showing some interesting things current on-going among those provincials.

Here's the fun, easier-to-read list I made up in Excel:


Once again, Brad Wall is the most approved-of premier in Canada (and probably still more popular than God), with 64% approval to only 28% disapproval - a 36-point spread. Runner-up is Newfoundland and Labrador NDP Leader Lorraine Michael, but among the Premiers, his runner-up is Ontario's Kathleen Wynne, who has a spread of -1%. 

Behind Michael on the non-government side, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath comes up with a 17-point spread, with 49% approval. Following just behind is Alberta's Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith with a 16-point spread, then Nova Scotia Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil. Special mention goes to BC NDP Leader/next Premier Adrian Dix, who only has a 9-point spread but has 49% approval.

On the other end of the spectrum, Newfoundland's Premier Kathy Dunderdale has a spread of 48-points between her approval and disapproval, with a near three-quarters of respondents saying they disapproved of the way the Tory leader was doing her job. That is closely followed by BC's Christy Clark, who has a 42-point spread, then Alberta's Alison Redford at a 37-point spread. It seems every Premier except Wall has fallen out of favour with the respondents to this poll; Wynne has the closest spread, but New Brunswick's David Alward come sup with the largest approval at 41% (to 50% disapproval).

On the Opposition leader side, *former* Qu├ębec solidaire spokesperson Amir Khadir (still one of their two MNAs) tops the unpopularity list with a spread of 31-points, 59% disapproval overall. But, I don't think he really counts as he lost his job awhile go (same with PLQ leader Jean-Marc Fournier). Take him out, BC Conservative leader John Cummins becomes the worst with a 29-point spread, or 49% disapproval. Runner-up is Ontario's very own Tim Hudak, with a 17-point spread between his approval/disapproval numbers, with 50% disapproval overall.

Basically, the narrative this year is that the incumbents are in trouble. The two provinces we know will go to an election - BC and NS - have hilariously unpopular Premiers. The two provinces that may go this year - ON and QC - are more of a mixed bag, with Wynne kind of breaking even and Marois also very unpopular. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

11 comments:

  1. How it will play out is the female leadership in Canada will be severely weakened. Not because of the respective female premiers policies but of the parties they inherited.

    The fact Canada has so many female premiers is not because we are more progressive but because there were so many failing parties that wanted to use gender as a method of political galvanization (not to mention other candidates not entering leadership races to helm a sinking ship).

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    1. I certainly don't see it that way. The three most popular Opposition leaders - Smith, Horwath, and Michael - are women. So... yeah, there's that.

      There has certainly been a generational shift over the past few years where women who previously spent their time building up their profile in male-dominated cabinets and professions have now come to the forefront and taken charge. It just so happens that the most high-profile ones are not necessarily doing a good job. But neither are the male leaders in this country. Its more equal than ever before - male or female, you have your popular ones and your unpopular ones. Difference is, no one ever says anything about the "male leadership" being weakened.

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    2. Smith became leader when the Wildrose didn't have a shot of winning. Same thing with Horwath but even with these numbers has little chance of even becoming Premier.

      The idea that Clark, Wynne, Marois, Redford, or Dunderdale could have turned around their already declining parties and is somehow them not doing a good job is incredulous.

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    3. So you're saying, what, that no party that is on a downward trend can ever break out of that trend with better leadership? That the women here were put in charge just because they're women, and we all knew they'd fail so now we can blame women, aha!

      I really hope that isn't what you're saying. I suspect it isn't but its best to clarify now.

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    4. So you accuse me of something that doesn't even remotely derive my comment and then say it's best for me to clarify. That is quite an unintelligent response.

      I never said no party can reverse a downward trend. Considering the scale of unpopularity of most parties prior to women leading them however it cannot be said that their leadership, or lack thereof, is what their caused 100% of their parties' misfortunes, or even significant portion of them.

      It would be quite impossible for Redford to put a new angle on her party when it's been in power for so long, and just as improbable for Clark to turn around her party after her predecessor absolutely decimated her party's support.

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    5. I don't recall saying it was ever 100% the fault of the new leaders - obviously if they inherent a damaged brand, it will take work to turn it around. I do however dispute the idea that their inability to turn things around is completely out of their hands; new leaders are often given the benefit of the doubt at the beginning, and its up to that leader to take that opportunity to rebuild the brand. If they fail to do so, it is a failing on their part as much as it is a failure they've unfortunately inherited.

      I'd also like to note that Redford did indeed put a new angle on her party, that is how she managed to win the 2012 elections. Her absolutely dreadful performance in the recent session is the main cause for her (possibly) eventual downfall.

      All that aside, I still don't understand and you have yet to expand upon your first comment - that the reason why women have gained all this power recently is because failing parties want to use gender to attract voters back. This is the issue I asked about. Are you saying that these parties made a conscience choice to put women in the leadership position in order to gain an electoral advantage? Are you saying there is an undercurrent of sexism? Or am I reading what you're saying wrong?

      I apologize if my rhetoric is a big exaggerated and if I caused offense before, but I really want to know.

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  2. the quiet removal of Christy Clark from Liberal advertising might have something to do with that 67% disapproval rating

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    1. Er, do you mean that 67% may have something to do with the (not actually that quiet since its been all over the news) removal of Clark off of BC Liberal branding? 'Cause the other way around doesn't sound right.

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  3. Two questions. Firstly, how did Khadir end up with a really big negative approval rating? Previous polls showed him to be a very popular politician.

    Secondly, how did Kathleen Wynne end up with a -1 approval in this poll when the recent Forum poll showed her with an approval of +6

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    1. You're thinking about Khadir pre-student protests a and pre-Legault. He was wildly popular then, but a combination of poor opinions being aired during the protests and people finding a new blank space to put all of their love onto has taken a toll on his reputation. Not that it matters, considering he's no longer a spokesperson anyways.

      As to the second point... different companies. That's all I can really say.

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    2. Khadir is not even a spokesperson for the QS. He was laid off after the election as the two spokespersons most not both be from the legislature. Not only did David take part in (and win) the debate, but she remains the party's only spokesperson in the legislature.

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