Manitoba Provincial Election 2019

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Manitoba Provincial Election 2019

Looks like it's a thing:

After months of hinting, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said in no uncertain terms Wednesday he will call a provincial election this year.

The premier was once again asked about the possibility of an election ahead of the fixed date in late 2020.

After saying in the "fullness of time we'll have more discussion on that," Pallister didn't disagree when a reporter suggested he was leaning toward dropping the writ in 2019.

"Well, at some point this year for sure," Pallister said.


Former Interim Leader Flor Marcelino not running again:


Marcelino is the fourth veteran MLA from the NDP who has decided not to run in the next election. James Allum, Rob Altemeyer, and Andrew Swan previously announced their intention to leave.

There was a sign of division in the NDP ranks as Marcelino gave her farewell speech in the chamber.

Marcelino defended Mohinder Saran, who was kicked out of the NDP caucus in 2017 over an accusation he sexually harassed a subordinate.

Saran, who now sits as an Independent, denied the accusation. Marcelino told the legislature Saran was treated wrongly.

"I was deeply touched when my colleague was mistakenly accused of something he did not do," Marcelino said.

"I believe in due time my friend will be vindicated."

I did not agree with Marcelino being tagged as interim leader. I believe that she was put in that spot specifically so that the NDP Establishment could continue to call the shots behind the scenes while she was essentially a figurehead. In 2015, she supported Greg Selinger for NDP leader. In 2017, she flipped and supported Steve Ashton. I got a small bit of pleasure watching her turn on the NDP establishment in such a fashion after they specifically appointed her to do her bidding.


With the latest figures for approval of Premiers, I want to sound the alarm right now that Pallister is in very good shape to be elected:

1) Look at the polling data. The PCs have never not been in first place this term. That is a solid foundation for the PCs right there. Additionally, there has been some movement between the NDP, Liberals, and Greens on the left, however the 40-ish percent of the voting public that can be counted on to support the PCs is pretty stable. That the NDP have always relied on trying to monopolize the left-wing vote without even asking if they could chip away at PC support or find cross-over appeal is problematic.

2) What's happening in Winnipeg. It's true that issues of drugs and crime are making a great deal of headlines. Unfortunately that isn't so much impacting the city as a whole, but is packing a very strong punch in areas of the city that have always been hurting. There are many voters in the south and west areas of Winnipeg who would rather install home security systems and video cameras (at least those who haven't fled to the surrounding communities) to protect themselves and their properties rather than pay taxes for the benefit of the city as a whole. Plus, they might not like the idea of losing hospital emergency rooms, but above all else they do not want a socialist government that will spend the province into a debt spiral, and on that latter point they will vote accordingly. It is true that the NDP is the top choice of Winnipeg voters, however this leads into my next point:

3) The NDP was blown out in rural areas last election, and it needs these rural areas because they cannot win back government solely on the backs of Winnipeg voters. It is also a completely different media environment. Whereas in Winnipeg, the media is focussing on the actions of the "Pallister government," in the rural areas the local MLAs get good press for attending events and for government funding announcements. Plus the media (at least what's left of small-town media) doesn't seriously challenge people in positions of authority, it's more like a coffee chit-chat. Historically you could always count on there being MLAs in rural areas to oppose whatever government in power at the time, so that was one way to challenge them. With all but 2 NDP MLAs in Winnipeg, there is basically no opposition to Pallister in the rural areas (aside from some passive resistance in Brandon). Plus, the NDP communication strategy is completely tone-deaf. All we hear from them is "Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Winnipeg" with a few mentions about issues in other parts of the province. If the rural seats the NDP held going into the 1999 election don't come back, the PCs will stay in government forever regardless of what Winnipeg voters think of them. Look what happened next door in Saskatchewan. That is the path we are headed down.

4) The PCs are the only ones ready at the moment. They are flush with cash, and have nominated candidates in almost every riding in the province, except central Winnipeg which they don't need anyways. The NDP still doesn't even have candidates in all the seats it lost, let alone a full slate. The Liberals are in even worse shape. The opposition is at a huge disadvantage right out of the gate.

5) The NDP, despite doing what it called a "listening tour" in the aftermath of 2016, didn't actually listen or learn from its mistakes. The union special interests in this province successfully lobbied to keep the delegated convention system (which is a long-standing sore point for northern and rural constituencies, please see point 3) and there is still no formal mechanism for the membership to call for a leadership review. Additionally, Wab Kinew was essentially annointed as the NDP Messiah, and the party establishment did everything it could to block a meaningful leadership competition. There are also old wounds in the party that haven't fully healed, for example the issue of Mohinder Saran or the NDP blocking Steve Ashton from running in Thompson after allowing Stan Struthers to sexually harass women for years. We still don't know how Kinew's past charges of domestic assault are going to impact the race, however there are people who still feel strongly about that.

That's not to say that Pallister's re-election is certain. Stranger things have happened. But if that is to happen, we must first acknowledge what the current political terrain looks like.


Pallister has called the provincial election for  September 10th. 

After months of speculation regarding an early election, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, Sept. 10. ...

The premier has decided to flout the fixed election date of Oct. 6, 2020, by calling an election a year earlier than he is mandated. He is expected to drop the writ at a later date. ...

The Tories were ushered into power in 2016, winning 40 out of 57 seats in the legislature, after 17 years of rule under the Manitoba New Democrats, who were relegated to 14 seats.

A recent poll suggests a tightening race between the parties — at least in Winnipeg. A Probe Research survey found the NDP in a statistical tie with the Tories in Manitoba's capital, but the Progressive Conservatives are well ahead provincewide, with the backing of 42 per cent of decided and leaning voters, whereas the NDP garnered 30 per cent. ...

In the months since the March poll, the Progressive Conservatives have faced heightened criticism over Winnipeg's health-care overhaul, including news last week that a 63-year-old woman died at St. Boniface hospital after waiting hours in an ER that turned people away.  ...

The premier brushed off a suggestion Manitoba cannot juggle an election campaign during the summer, which political parties are generally averse to doing.


And of course, the issue of Kinew's past is not going to go away.

Interesting thing is that there are no comments as of yet trashing Kinew. You would think on a public forum there would be. True, it's the CBC, and the Saskatchewan Party next door has been re-elected many times despite being regularly beat up in the CBC  news comment section, but is that an indicator of public opinion and perception?

I'd love to see what the next polls have to say about party standing.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I met an Elder from Opaskweyak Cree Nation the other evening, a very accomplished woman who has the Order of Manitoba. She is very disappointed with Wab Kinew and finds him arrogant. I don't think he will overcome the fact that he has little confidence from many First Nation people. Plus there are lots of racist people in Manitoba who will never support him (mind you, most of them probably hate the NDP).



That's interesting, Laine. Can you provide any more insight?

It seemed to me that he was annointed by the party leadership to capture the growing First Nations vote in Manitoba for the NDP after Kevin Chief retired. Given the failures of the last NDP government on issues affecting First Nations, like child welfare and crime, I wonder how effective a strategy that will be.

I do agree with you on one thing. I fully expect the PCs to capitalize on racism in order to shore up the vote in their strongholds. Whether it is out in the open or dog-whistling, they will use whatever works. I've outlined upthread why I feel the NDP is failing in its communication regarding seats outside Winnipeg.

That's the problem with identity politics. Not only racial minorities less likely to vote, but they are also concentrated in parts of Winnipeg that the PCs don't really need in order to win anyways. That's part of the problem of the Democrat strategy in the US, along with the fact that the Democrats don't really do anything to address the issues their base tells them are important while in office. Unfortunately too many people in charge of the party have no clue what life is like in the real world and keep messing it up.

Let's take crime, for example. Suppose the NDP had a really strong program that actually addressed the root causes of crime. Wouldn't the headlines in the Free Press about declining homicides and lower police, court and jail costs also win over many swing voters in the suburban areas? I admit you're not going to win them all, but I think that would present a very strong argument.


The latest Probe Research poll shows the PCs at 42%, the NDP at 26%, Liberals 16% which is their lowest level of support since the 2016 election, and Greens 14%, with the major change from the last poll done in March being the rise of Green support by 7% due to a 4% NDP drop and a 2% Liberal drop while the PCs stay the same.  

In terms of nominated candidates for the 57 ridings Wikipedia is showing the Cons with 46, the NDP with 34, the Liberals with 9, and the Greens with none so far. (

The polling shows the PCs and NDP continue to be on equal footing within the boundaries of Winnipeg, with the Tories holding strong support in their rural base. ...

"The PCs were able to win over Winnipeg women from the (former premier Gary) Doer Democrats before, and I would want to look at how women are going in this election," Adams said.

However, this month’s polling suggests the NDP is retaining Winnipeg women’s support, with 37 per cent of decided female voters in the city opting for that party, compared with 25 per cent for the Tories.

Pallister recently announced the upcoming election while flanked by mostly female ministers. Meanwhile, his party has tried to keep attention on NDP Leader Wab Kinew’s domestic-assault charges from 2003 (the charges were stayed by the Crown in 2004). ...

Meanwhile, the provincial Greens are on the rise at 14 per cent support, doubling from a year ago. The Liberals appear to be losing voter interest, with 16 per cent marking their lowest number since the 2016 election. ...

He noted the Green party fell just 400 votes short of taking the Winnipeg riding of Wolseley in 2016. "There is a Green presence in Manitoba; they do run strong candidates here," MacKay said.


The NDP and Green party leaders will face each other in the Fort Rouge riding. 

Manitoba Green Party Leader James Beddome has registered to run in the Fort Rouge constituency in Winnipeg, which is held by Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew.

Beddome, who has run in different seats in three previous provincial elections, said his decision to run in Fort Rouge was not influenced by the presence of the NDP leader. ...

All parties are getting candidates in place for the Sept. 10 election. The deadline for nominations is Aug. 29.

The governing Progressive Conservatives have 46 candidates registered with Elections Manitoba. The New Democrats have 38, the Liberals have 14 and the Greens have eight.

There are 57 constituencies in the province. The Greens have never run a full slate of candidates and have never won a legislature seat. They came close in the 2016 election with a strong second-place finish in the Wolseley seat in Winnipeg by Dave Nickarz.


Pallister is proposing to end "death taxes", the same lingo the Republicans used to eliminate estate taxes when focus groups told them this was better phrasing to gain public support. This can be an very large amount for large estates. 

Premier Brian Pallister says there will be no "death taxes" in Manitoba if his Progressive Conservatives are re-elected in the upcoming provincial election. Pallister announced Thursday he would eliminate probate fees and the provincial sales tax on wills — saving a typical family estate more than $2,600. ...

Pallister pointed to comments by current opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew in October 2017 about the federal Liberal's tax plan where Kinew mulled over "taxing people who inherit their wealth."

"We are putting an end to NDP death taxes," Pallister said.

Kinew responded an NDP government wouldn't increase probate fees.

He added the PCs are masking an austerity agenda. Kinew said there will be cuts to things people in Manitoba are really concerned about, including health care, to pay for all the PC promises.

"If he wanted to make real inroads and help people with the end-of-life journey than this government would come forward with a palliative care plan and they would invest in palliative medicine in Manitoba," he said.


Today there are 49 Conservative, 43 NDP, 25 Liberal and 15 Green candidates selected. 


jerrym wrote:
The latest Probe Research poll shows the PCs at 42%, the NDP at 26%, Liberals 16% which is their lowest level of support since the 2016 election, and Greens 14%, with the major change from the last poll done in March being the rise of Green support by 7% due to a 4% NDP drop and a 2% Liberal drop while the PCs stay the same.

The Greens, with one third of the support they currently have, nearly took Wolseley last time. Bearing in mind that the campaign still has yet to play itself out, I would say that the rise in support for the Greens province-wide, combined with the fact that the incumbent MLA is not running again while this is the second go for the Green candidate makes this a near-certain pick-up for the Greens.


There are, as of today, Today there are 49 Conservative, 50 NDP, 25 Liberal and 17 Green candidates selected. 


Although the election campaign has not officially started, the campaign promises have. 

Wab Kinew wants this year's Manitoba provincial election to focus on the damage he says Brian Pallister's Progressive Conservative government has inflicted on health care, and how an NDP government would fix it.

In making his pitch to voters ahead of the Sept. 10 election, Kinew positioned himself as the leader to stop the chaos he says the health-care system has endured during a consolidation that closed three of Winnipeg's six emergency rooms.

"A big part of what we want to do in this campaign is to form a government that can repair some of this damage, that can reopen emergency rooms and improve health care for people across the province," Kinew said. "It's also about modernizing health care and ensuring that health care is there for Manitobans for generations to come." ...

The NDP leader said his party would reopen the emergency departments at Seven Oaks and Concordia hospitals, but said too much time has passed to reverse the ER closure at Victoria. The emergency rooms at all three Winnipeg hospitals were converted to urgent care centres as part of the Pallister government's health care overhaul. ...

Kinew also renewed speculation on Wednesday that a re-elected PC government could revisit the idea of a health-care premium — an idea that the PC leader previously floated, but withdrew. At the time, Pallister said he wouldn't institute the new tax at any point in his first mandate. ...

"Even as he was being forced to back off on the way out the door, he said, 'Not in the first term.'" Kinew said. "Now he's running for a second term, so you know what that means."

Later in the day, Pallister said Manitobans flatly rejected higher premiums when his party asked in 2017, and so does he. "If you want higher taxes, you've got the NDP for that," he said.  ...

Kinew pledged to release a "comprehensive and fully costed" election platform on Thursday. Without revealing much of his plan, Kinew said he would reach a balanced budget within a similar timeline to that promised by Brian Pallister, who pledged to balance the budget by 2024. ...

"I think Manitobans are going to be pleasantly surprised when they see the NDP platform this time around, with a heavy focus on affordability and ensuring that families can get by and have a little bit extra money at the end of the month."

The party is expecting to have its full slate of 57 candidates nominated by this weekend.


Do we have a race?


The uncommissioned poll, which surveyed 1,127 Manitobans between July 28 and Aug. 7, found 30 per cent of respondents said they would vote NDP and 31 per cent PC heading into the fall election.

Another 11 per cent said they intend to vote Liberal; six per cent claimed they'll go with the Green Party; and another six per cent chose not to say. Fifteen per cent remain undecided and one per cent said they would vote for another party altogether.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

The Manitoba PCs do have a history of blowing or badly underperforming in elections they should have been able to count on winning in a walk-1969, when the collapse of the Manitoba Liberal-Progressives should have guaranteed them an easy win but the NDP came from minor party status to form a minority government; 1981, when Sterling Lyon became the first premier in provincial history to lead his party to defeat after one term; 1988 when they started 30 points ahead in the polls and then ended up barely beating the Liberals-a party which had only one seat going into the election-and actually losing two seats from the previous election; the two campaigns MacFayden led them through where they had, IIRC, come-from-ahead defeats.

Perhaps they're shooting themselves in the foot again?


I wd like to think this poll is accurate but have my doubts.

it is in sharp contrast to the most recent Probe poll which had the Cons ahead 42 to 26. I think Probe has had a good track record.

it has the Greens and Liberals significantly lower than expected

Nothing seems to have happened to occasion such a marked shift.

the Federal NDP seems to be tanking in Manitoba.

Converso is a polling organization no one has ever heard of.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

In virtually every election campaign in recent history, there's been at least one "rogue poll".  Perhaps that's what we've got here.


Ken Burch wrote:

In virtually every election campaign in recent history, there's been at least one "rogue poll".  Perhaps that's what we've got here.

Looks like it:

The creator of a poll suggesting Manitoba's Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats in a "dead heat" in popularity now says there is an issue with the data.

It has come to my attention that there is an issue w/ the weighting of the survey results we released yesterday re: Manitoba election. We are working diligently to address this issue. We'll provide an update within 48 hrs. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused. - Carl

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Curiouser and curiouser.


Here is a tweet this morning from Mainstreet Research which unfortunately contradicts the Converso poll:

Looking at early #mbpoli numbers from @MainStResearch 


It’s a sizeable lead for @pcmanitoba


@BrianPallister , @WabKinew both have negative scores on personal favourability


Details out later this week, stay tuned



Pallister to spend money making Winnipeg safer:


Leader Brian Pallister said Monday his government would crack down on drug use by committing more money to tactical enforcement, better collaboration between police services and trying to prevent drug smuggling through road surveillance.

The PCs also would establish a criminal intelligence database within the Justice Ministry and hire more investigators with the public safety investigations unit to expel drug dealers from rental properties. 

"When grandpa and grandma take their grandchildren out to a Jets game, they shouldn't be worried when they leave the game about getting to the parkade safely," Pallister said Monday morning from True North Square.

This here is the one issue the NDP need to use against the PCs. The PCs made an issue of the crime rate so often from the opposition benches, only to preside over a perceived rise in crime and less public safety over their term. We have had a large number of murders this year, even during a brutally cold winter which usually takes the murder rate down, and there is a great deal of talk about the meth crisis. Crime and public safety is something the PCs are supposed to be good at. The NDP needs to show that the opposite is actually the case.


bekayne wrote:
Ken Burch wrote:

In virtually every election campaign in recent history, there's been at least one "rogue poll".  Perhaps that's what we've got here.

Looks like it:

The creator of a poll suggesting Manitoba's Progressive Conservatives and New Democrats in a "dead heat" in popularity now says there is an issue with the data.

It has come to my attention that there is an issue w/ the weighting of the survey results we released yesterday re: Manitoba election. We are working diligently to address this issue. We'll provide an update within 48 hrs. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused. - Carl

Here are the new numbers:

"The discrepancy was caused by an over-weighting of responses from northern Manitoba," Converso managing director Carl Mavromichalis said in the statement, citing a third-party review of its work.


Converso now claims the PCs enjoy the support of 35 per cent of Manitoban voters, compared to 21 per cent for the NDP, 12 per cent for the Liberals, eight per cent for the Greens and one per cent for other parties — while undecided, non-responsive and unwilling voters accounted for 22 per cent of the response.