A new Probe Research poll finds the Cons have dropped 5% since the September election from 47% to 42% while the NDP has gained 5% to 36%.
Manitoba’s New Democrats are out of the political wilderness, a recent Probe Research poll has found. Three months after the Progressive Conservatives were re-elected, the NDP’s support has increased five per cent.
"This is a party that is slowly clawing itself back, into maybe not the hearts of people, but at least into their consideration," said Scott MacKay, Probe’s founder. "If they’re able to keep going in this, they will be a very serious contender in the next provincial election." ...
The Progressive Conservatives remain Manitobans’ most popular choice, with 42 per cent support from respondents, compared with the 47 per cent of votes they garnered in the Sept. 10 election. Their base tends to be older, male, white and rural.
The NDP’s support has increased to 36 per cent. The party draws support from women (42 per cent compared with one-third for the PCs), millennials and people who have a post-secondary degree. ...
"We have a party that is certainly not waiting in the wings, but one that you could imagine regaining power someday," said MacKay. "There was not this generational shunning that many people had predicted in 2016," he said, referring to when the PCs ended the NDP’s 17-year reign.
The poll put the Liberals and Greens at 13 and six per cent respectively; any change in either party’s support was within the poll’s margin of error. "The Liberals are just in suspended animation," MacKay said.
The movement of each of the four parties was similar in and out of Winnipeg. ...
Kelly Saunders, a political scientist at Brandon University, said the New Democrats have kept support from women, despite the PCs’ constant references during the fall campaign, to NDP Leader Wab Kinew being charged with domestic assault more than a decade ago.
Women tend to vote slightly more than men and are persuaded on issues such as climate change or civil and reproductive rights, she said.
"Looking at these numbers, the NDP has a good foundation on which to build, especially if they can really carve out their messaging," she said, noting they could "steal the thunder" from the stagnant Liberals and Greens. "The Tories are going to have a much harder time in trying to appeal to those messages; their track record hasn’t been very good," she said.
Saunders said she suspected those themes could loom large in a PC leadership race if Premier Brian Pallister were to step down. He has not given any indication of when he plans to retire.
MacKay noted that while the NDP gained traction with households that earn less than $50,000 annually, Manitobans who don’t have post-secondary education side heavily with the PCs. Normally, voters in both those categories support the same party.