Dwight Ball approval rating down 9 points after Mitchelmore Report

A new poll from the Angus Reid Institute shows Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball's approval ratings took a hit from September to December.

The polling was done from Dec. 9-11, in the days after the release of the Mitchelmore Report and Dwight Ball's denial of involvement in the hiring of Liberal staffer Carla Foote at The Rooms.

Ball's approval fell nine points, down to 31 per cent.

The margin of error is significant, however, at seven per cent. Angus Reid Institute polled 213 respondents in an online survey.

The poll suggests Ball has the second-lowest approval rating of any premier in Canada, ahead of only Nova Scotia's Stephen McNeil.

Peter Cowan/CBC

Angus Reid has been tracking his approval ratings since he became premier in 2016. He came into the job at 60 per cent and promptly plummeted to 17 per cent after the first budget.

The data shows a second peak of 42 per cent in March 2018 before falling again.

Ball's government took a hit this month when a report by Office of the Citizens' Representative showed cabinet minister Christopher Mitchelmore mishandled public money in hiring Foote, who oversaw Liberal government communications in Executive Council, to a marketing position at The Rooms.

Angus Reid Institute

Some people interviewed for the report said they were told the hiring was ordered by the premier — an accusation he denies.

Opposition Leader Ches Crosbie has since called on the citizens' representative to investigate Ball for any involvement in the hiring.

The Liberal government also took a hit on Dec. 11 when Finance Minister Tom Osborne gave the fall fiscal update. It showed the province came up $392 million short on budget projections for this year.

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