PCs, NDP neck and neck with Winnipeg voters, rest of province leaning towards Tories: poll

The Progressive Conservatives and the NDP are running a tight race when it comes to decided Winnipeg voters – 33 per cent say they’re voting PC and 32 plan to vote NDP – according to a new poll.

The two other major parties are seeing less support in Winnipeg, with 21 per cent of decided or leaning residents planning to vote Liberal and 12 per cent showing support for the Green Party. Eleven per cent of Winnipeggers are undecided at this time.

The poll, conducted between Aug. 13 and 24 by Probe Research with CTV Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press, spoke with 1200 Manitobans through an online survey. It found within the Winnipeg regions, the strongest support for the PCs is with residents in the city’s southeast (41 per cent), while for the NDP it’s in Winnipeg’s core (42 per cent). The survey found that 32 per cent of decided respondents living in Winnipeg’s southwest intend to vote Liberal, with the Greens’ strongest support coming from the southeast (12 per cent).

Though two parties are neck and neck in Manitoba’s capital, these numbers don’t reflect how the parties are faring across the entire province. The numbers show overall 41 per cent of decided or leaning Manitobans plan to cast their ballot for PC candidates, 29 per cent for the NDP, 18 per cent for the Liberals and 10 per cent for the Greens. Twelve per cent of Manitoba voters remain undecided.

The survey found the Tories are benefitting from lapsed NDP voters – those who voted for NDP in the 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections, but not in 2016. Of these lapsed voters – 225 respondents – only 27 per cent plan to vote NDP this year, with the largest share of people (35 per cent) supporting the PCs in the 2019 election. 

It also found that the PC Party has an edge when it comes men and older voters. Nearly 45 per cent of male decided or leaning voters back the Tories, as well as 51 per cent of those 55 or older.

The poll also asked Manitobans about the firmness of their voting intentions – how likely they are to actually vote for their party of choice – and PC voters showed the most commitment at 80 per cent of its decided or leaning voters . Over 65 per cent of decided NDP voters say they’re very likely to vote for the party, with 55 per cent of Liberal supporters and 45 per cent of Greens saying the same.

But despite the fact that Tory voters are firm in their choice, the party has little room for growth to gain further support. Only six per cent of decided or leaning voters say the PCs are their second choice, with most responding with Liberal of Green as their backup plan.

The survey also analyzed voter retention from the 2016 election. It found the PCs and NDP have retained much of their support over the last three years, at 72 per cent and 68 per cent of voters respectively. But only half of those who supported the Liberals in 2016 are with the party at this time.

Minor statistical weighting was applied to the poll to ensure age, regional and gender characteristics reflected Manitoba’s population. A statistical margin of error can’t be ascribed to an online panel, but for purposes of comparison a sample of 1200 people would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points 95 per cent of the time.

The provincial election takes place on Sept. 10.