Alberta Premier Jim Prentice has seen his job approval rating dip in recent months amid falling oil prices, but still remains one of the most popular provincial leaders in Canada, a new poll suggests.
According to the latest quarterly survey from Angus Reid Global, Prentice has an approval rating of 43 per cent — down seven per cent since December. That's good enough to make him Canada’s second most popular premier at a time when speculation is swirling over a spring provincial election.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall remains far-and-away the most popular provincial leader with an approval rating of 64 per cent, virtually unchanged from last quarter but about four points lower than where he sat in September of last year.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, who once seemed like a potential contender to challenge Wall for the top spot, is also at 43 per cent.
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger — who narrowly survived a leadership revolt earlier this month — is still in the basement among provincial leaders at 22 per cent approval. However, that number actually represents a jump from December, when Selinger was at an all-time low of 17 per cent.
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It appears things are also looking up for Newfoundland Premier Paul Davis, who will head to the polls this year. Angus Reid has Davis at 41 per cent approval, up from 34 per cent last quarter.
Meanwhile, the numbers suggest two Liberal leaders in central Canada are seeing their job approval ratings slide.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, currently facing heat over a police investigation into allegations of bribery in a recent byelection, has dropped three percentage points since December and sits at 36 per cent.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has dropped six percentage points to sit at 35 per cent.
The approval ratings of British Columbia Premier Christy Clark (34 per cent) and New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant (40 per cent) are virtually unchanged from December.
Angus Reid Global does not measure the approval rating of the Prince Edward Island premier because the sample size for that province is too small. Wade MacLauchlan took over as that province’s leader late last month.
The survey was conducted online among 6,278 Angus Reid Forum panelists between February 26 and March 6. Similar surveys have a margin of error of 1.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.