Greens recovering, but satisfaction in King government still high: poll

·3 min read
The gap between the popularity of Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker, right, and that of Premier Dennis King remains a large one.  (CBC - image credit)
The gap between the popularity of Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker, right, and that of Premier Dennis King remains a large one. (CBC - image credit)

The P.E.I. Green Party has seen some recovery from a winter slump, but a large majority of Islanders are still saying they are satisfied with Dennis King's Progressive Conservative government.

That's according to a poll released Tuesday by Narrative Research. The company reached 300 Islanders by telephone from Aug. 8-16 for the latest of its quarterly polls.

The poll found 79 per cent of Islanders either mostly or completely satisfied with the performance of the King government. That's up a little from May, when it dipped to 73 per cent after being around 80 per cent in the previous three quarters.

How satisfied are you with the overall performance of the provincial government led by Premier Dennis King?

Voting intentions, among decided voters, for the PCs were up five percentage points to 55, and King remained the top pick for premier, steady with 45 per cent support.

Narrative's CEO, Margaret Brigley, said how Islanders are currently feeling about the economy may have played a part on the rebound.

"Last quarter in May, we saw consumer confidence drop to record-low scores across Atlantic Canada and that was also reflected in the satisfaction levels that we saw with all provincial governments," said Brigley.

"Now in three of the four provinces we've seen an increase in satisfaction quarter over quarter. At the same time, we've also seen a slight rebound in ... our consumer confidence index. So that's what that is showing me, is that consumer confidence, the psyche of the consumer certainly can impact government satisfaction."

Brigley said King's government is enjoying the highest levels of satisfaction in the region, and that the numbers show the Progressive Conservatives are in a strong position ahead of looming provincial elections.

Greens hold on to support

But it wasn't all bad news for Green Opposition Leader Peter Bevan-Baker. Support among decided voters maintained an increase from the spring. It is up to 22 per cent after dropping to 15 per cent in the winter. Similarly, preference for Bevan-Baker for premier rose to 20 per cent, after falling to 13 per cent in the winter.

If an election were held today on Prince Edward Island, for which party would you vote?

"The challenge is how will they break out from that 20 per cent mark that they seem to be resting at right now," Brigley said. "How can they demonstrate that they would or believe things should be done differently than what the Progressive Conservative government is currently doing?"

Support for the third party Liberals, led by interim leader Sonny Gallant, has been running about equal with the Greens since November. Support for Gallant as premier is in the single digits.

Brigley said the election of a new Liberal leader in the fall may change things, but that will depend on the person who ends up getting the nod.

Which one of the following individuals would you most prefer as premier of Prince Edward Island?

Slightly more than one in three polled expressed no preference on their voting intentions, a number largely unchanged over the last year.

The margin of error for the overall poll is 5.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error for intentions of decided voters is 7.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.