Manitoba poll: Tories projected to win majority govt

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The Tories are poised to win a majority government on election day, results from a new poll commissioned by Postmedia suggest. The Mainstreet Research poll, published Saturday morning, shows support among decided and leaning voters for the Progressive Conservatives rose to 55 per cent in recent weeks, compared to a 26 per cent share for the NDP, 11 per cent for the Liberals and nine per cent for the Greens.

“What looked like a simple majority last week now looks like a super majority,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research.

Among the 1,809 voters polled provincewide on April 14, 19 per cent said they remain undecided, down a few notches from the last Mainstreet survey taken on April 5 (22 per cent).

The modest rise in support for the NDP, up two per cent from early April, coincides with a drop in support for the Liberals.

“Their strong support has increased from 63 per cent to 76 per cent, which is an impressive increase,” Maggi said in a statement. “The NDP is unlikely to sink in the closing days of this election as a result.”

Liberals slide — again

Rana Bokhari’s party has been hemorrhaging supporters in recent weeks, with a base of voters that have once again ranked the least committed to a particular party.

The PCs continue to have the most committed base, with 80 per cent describing their level of support for the party as “strong.” Seventy-six per cent of New Democrats also ranked their support for the NDP as “strong,” compared to 58 per cent of Liberal supporters.

That indication of how invested Liberal voters are in their party mirrors a decline in overall support. In Mainstreets’ March 29 poll, 24 per cent of respondents aligned themselves with the Liberals. The follow-up on April 5 saw that number shrink to 17 per cent, with that seven per cent loss, mainly in Winnipeg, boosting an already surging PC Party.

The current nine per cent support may not bode well for the party, but despite the apparent slide, the Liberals still appear to be the popular second pick for voters in the province.

“They continue to be the overwhelming leaders in second choice among voters who indicated they might change their minds,” Maggi said.

Thirty-three per cent of PC voters ranked the Liberals second in line; 29 per cent of NDP voters did the same; and 58 per cent of Green voters said if their party doesn’t win on Tuesday, they’d be most comfortable with a Liberal government.

While those figures suggest the Liberals could snatch up support from fence-sitters on election day, the poll hints that Liberal supporters may also be more open-minded to voting NDP than they were previously. Forty-three per cent of Liberal voters pegged the NDP as the next-best option, up from 20 per cent in the April 5 poll.

Though the PCs have been trending upward since the middle of March, support for a Brian Pallister-led government has slumped among leaning undecided voters. According to Mainstreet, the PCs are now third (at eight per cent) among leaning undecided voters, behind the NDP (at 11 per cent) and Liberals (12 per cent).

Maggi added the Green Party could turn some heads on election day.

“Expect the Green Party to outperform Liberals in ridings where they have fielded candidates in some cases. They now lead the Liberals in Winnipeg,” he said, adding the Greens may not win any seats, but party Leader James Beddome has a chance to win his constituency of Fort Garry-Riverview.

The poll by Mainstreet Research took place April 14, 2016. The company interviewed 1,809 Manitobans via interactive voice response. A probabilistic sample of the size surveyed in the Mainstreet poll would yield a margin of error  of +/-  2.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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