Today, the Fourth Session of Manitoba’s 42nd Legislature reconvened following the summer recess. Recent polling numbers suggest that despite Premier Heather Stefanson’s very busy tour schedule outside of the Legislative Assembly, often outside Winnipeg, neither her personal support nor that for the Progressive Conservative (PC) party have increased.
As the Premier approaches the one-year anniversary of her leadership victory last October 30th, a September poll from Probe Research shows the PCs at 37% and the New Democratic Party (NDP) at 44% province-wide. The gap increases inside Winnipeg with the NDP at 52% and PCs at 25%. The Angus Reid Institute’s latest survey on approval ratings showed Stefanson at 22%, the lowest among provincial premiers.
With the next provincial election little over one year away, the Premier and the PCs face the daunting task of differentiating themselves from the Leader of the Opposition Wab Kinew and the NDP, which has held at least a four point lead in Probe Research surveys going back to December 2020.
Throughout this Legislative Session, the governing PCs will be focused on changing the perceptions Manitobans have of their government by highlighting initiatives that resonate with their priorities. The final day of this session is November 3, before a new session starts on November 15 with a Throne Speech. This will all be followed by a pre-election provincial budget in the spring of 2023.
Another important event on the political calendar is the upcoming Kirkfield Park by-election, which must be held by December 13, 2022. The seat was vacated in June of this year following the resignation of Scott Fielding, formerly the Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development. Since the riding of Kirkfield Park was originally created in 1981 it has consistently been a PC seat, except when the NDP held it from 2007-2016. With their by-election candidate already in place, the NDP can be expected to be gunning hard for that seat.
The news in late August that the Minister of Municipal Relations, Eileen Clarke, won’t be running again in the next provincial election also means a changing of the guard. Clarke was part of the original Pallister cabinet of 12 ministers in 2016, and is one of only six ministers from that original PC cabinet who remain around the table today.
In light of so much change in the Legislature, in addition to the municipal elections on October 26th, the fall is shaping up to be politically charged.
- Premiers’ Performance: Moe regains momentum, front-runner Legault seeks re-election with lowest approval of term
- Little Movement in Manitoba’s Political Scene (September 2022 Provincial Voting Intentions)
- Manitoba Government Welcomes Start of the Legislative Session
We’re Here to Help
For information and insights about what these developments mean for Manitoba’s political landscape, please contact:
Tara Bingham – Senior Strategy Advisor
Michael Juce – Vice President
To learn more about Prairie Sky Strategy, please visit our website.