June 13, 2019
June 13, 2019 11:39 AM EDT
Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Ernest Doroszuk / Toronto Sun
Honeymoon? What honeymoon? One year after his election, Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s approval has dropped steadily by 11 percentage points since his June 2018 election when he won 40% of the popular vote.
A new public opinion poll provided exclusively to the Sun shows Ford today has the approval of just 29% of Ontarians, down five points in the last quarter.
The DART/MARU Voice of Canada poll asked Canadians in each province and territory if they approved or disapproved of their premier’s performance.
Canada’s 5 most popular preems:
1. Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe remains Canada’s most popular premier with 60% voter approval. In the job since January 2018, his approval has steadily increased along with the provincial economy since then.
2. Still enjoying the honeymoon after his October 2018 election, Quebec’s Francois Legault’s approval is up three points this quarter to 59%.
3. Alberta’s freshly-squeezed premier, Jason Kenney enters the quarterly poll with 55% approval among Alberta voters.
4. New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is holding steady at 45% approval, down three points since last quarter, but still up from December 2018.
5. BC premier John Horgan’s approval rating has dipped by seven points this quarter to 44%. Trouble with teachers and some of the highest gas prices in Canada in the face of an ongoing battle with Alberta over pipelines may be why.
In Manitoba, premier Brian Pallister dropped nine points to 37%, down from peak approval (53%) in September 2016. He may call an early election this summer. Before it gets worse? Newfoundland and Labrador premier Dwight Ball managed to hang onto power in the May election, barely, with a 20-seat minority in a 40-seat legislature. He’s down slightly to 31% in the quarterly approval rankings.
The DART/MARU Voice of Canada Poll of 5,215 randomly selected Canadian adults who are members of MARU/Blue’s Online panel was conducted May 31 to June 6. Results are considered accurate to within +/- 1.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20. Sample sizes in Yukon, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island were too small to produce results.
In the dog house
Canada’s least popular premier remains Stephen McNeil. With just 14% approval among Nova Scotians, he’s down a full 10 points since last quarter. Two years into his government’s second majority mandate, McNeil has been on a steady and precipitous slide since June 2014 when his approval peaked at 66%. Will he hang on to lead Nova Scotia Liberals into the next election?
Where does this leave Doug Ford?
Ford’s government has been running full-out since election day a year ago. It has earned some time to reflect and consider. During the summer recess, it should ask itself one question: “Are we losing support because people don’t like what we’re actually doing — or what they think we’re doing?”
The difference is crucial. So far, the loudest, clearest and most compelling voices explaining what Ford is doing have not been Ford’s — they’ve been opposition voices. Ford needs to change that.
Editor’s Note: this column has been updated to include premiers John Horgan and Dwight Ball who were omitted in the original online and print version — June 13, 2019 11:38 AM.