Federal Liberal support eroding in Winnipeg, NDP making gains, poll suggests

The Liberal Party lost three per cent of its support in the Manitoba capital since December to sit at 40 per cent, a Probe Research survey suggests — a far cry from the 53 per cent support the party got in the 2015 election.

Liberal support slides to 40 per cent in city

Support for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government has been on a downward trend since the 2015 election. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The eroding support for Justin Trudeau's government in Winnipeg appears to be benefiting the federal NDP, a new poll suggests.

The Liberal Party lost three per cent of its support in the Manitoba capital since December to sit at 40 per cent, a Probe Research survey suggests — a far cry from the 53 per cent support the party got in the 2015 election.

The NDP now has the backing of 21 per cent of decided and leaning voters in Winnipeg, the poll suggests, an increase of four per cent from December and a seven-point jump since the last federal election.

"The NDP are the real beneficiaries of our sort of collective disdain, or growing disdain, with the Liberals," said Mary Agnes Welch, a partner with Probe Research. 

Conservative support flat

The Tories slipped three percentage points to 30 per cent in Winnipeg, the poll suggests, which keeps the party in the same range its held among Winnipeggers since the last election. 

Provincewide, the Conservatives still poll at 42 per cent support. The Liberals dipped to 31 per cent (down three per cent from December), while the NDP were at 17 per cent (up one per cent) and the Greens rose to seven per cent (up two per cent) among people surveyed.

Welch said voter unhappiness with the SNC-Lavalin scandal only tells part of the story about the Liberals' falling fortunes.

The Liberal brand has been tarnished by the SNC-Lavalin controversy, which resulted in the expulsions from caucus of MPs Jane Philpott, left, and Jody Wilson-Raybould. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

"The erosion of Liberal support and some of the damage to this really amazing brand that they built in the last election, that erosion has been happening for a while," she said, explaining SNC-Lavalin and the subsequent expelling of two caucus members have further corroded perceptions of the party. 

The new quarterly poll surveyed 1,000 adults in Manitoba from March 12-24. They were selected through random dialling to include both landline and wireless phone numbers. A sample of this size yields a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error is higher for subgroups, such as rural voters or city voters.

Fourteen per cent of the people surveyed were undecided. 

Liberal support still tends to be highest among older, more affluent and better educated voters, as well as women, the poll suggests.

Impact on Justin Trudeau's Brand

2 years ago
CBC News Network's Hannah Thibedeau spoke to Jennifer Stewart (President, Syntax Strategic // Crisis Communications Expert) to get her thoughts on how the expulsions of Ms. Jody Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Jane Philpott may impact the Liberal party's brand. 6:45

Across Winnipeg, the poll pegs the Liberals comfortably in the lead with 47 per cent of voters in the southwest and southeast. They are leading the NDP by just one percentage point in the core, and are tied with the New Democrats in the northeast.

The Conservatives hold a three percentage point lead in northwest Winnipeg.

The numbers suggest what's been conventional wisdom for a while, Welch said — the seats of MaryAnn Mihychuk in Kildonan-St. Paul and Doug Eyolfson in Charleswood-St James-Assiniboia-Headingley are at risk.

Outside the provincial capital, the Conservatives have nearly six of 10 voters on their side, according to the poll. They were supported by 48 per cent of voters in the 2015 election.

Meanwhile, Liberal support outside Winnipeg slipped one percentage point to 18 per cent, the NDP dropped slightly to 11 per cent, the Greens rose to eight per cent and the People's Party of Canada has four per cent support, the poll reported.

Voters will go to the polls on Oct. 21, 2019. 


Ian Froese


Ian Froese is a reporter with CBC Manitoba. He has previously worked for newspapers in Brandon and Steinbach. Story idea? Email:


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