Premier Brad Wall's popularity dropping but he's still the preferred leader: poll

Saskatchewan residents are feeling the pinch of March's provincial budget but are standing by Premier Brad Wall, according to a poll by the Angus Reid Institute.

More than half of residents polled in Saskatoon and Regina would vote NDP if an election were tomorrow

Fifty-eight per cent of Saskatchewan residents outside of Saskatoon and Regina would vote for the Saskatchewan Party if an election were held tomorrow, according to an online survey. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall's popularity has dropped after March's provincial budget but most people in the province still say he is the best equipped to lead Saskatchewan, according to an online survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute. 

The economy was the top issue for 42 per cent of Saskatchewan residents polled, with health care a distant second at 12 per cent.

Only Alberta has a higher rate of residents concerned about their province's economic challenges while Newfoundland and Labrador are on par with Saskatchewan's rate. 

March's provincial budget saw a projected $1.3 billion budget deficit sawed down to $685 million through funding cuts and tax raises. 

Standard of living

The standard of living within Saskatchewan is worse than last year, according to 42 per cent of residents polled.

Another 37 per cent believe it's going to get worse in 2018. The only other province where residents feel just as uneasy about next year is New Brunswick. 

A small portion of the province — nine per cent — feel their standard of living has improved over last year while a little less than half — 48 per cent — haven't noticed a difference. 

Province standing by Wall

If an election were held tomorrow, 48 per cent of those polled said they would still vote for the Saskatchewan Party and Brad Wall while 41 per cent would opt for the NDP. 

Forty-two per cent feel Wall is still the best person to handle the province's problems, while 24 per cent think recently-resigned as interim Opposition leader Trent Wotherspoon would be a better option. Wall's popularity is down from 2016, when 62 per cent of people said they would vote Saskatchewan Party, compared to 30 per cent for the NDP. 

The NDP's popularity is high in the province's two largest cities, with 55 per cent of Regina residents saying they would vote NDP and another 50 per cent in Saskatoon. The rest of the province paints a different picture, with 58 per cent of people saying they would still vote Saskatchewan Party if an election were held tomorrow. 

The poll was conducted June 5-12 through an online survey of 1,053 Angus Reid Institute Forum members. A random sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Any discrepancies would be due to numbers being rounded.