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From Angus Reid Institute

East Coasters critical of governments: Atlantic Spotlight

Soaring inflation, floundering health-care systems: Only in Nova Scotia does the incumbent party currently lead in vote intent

July 13, 2022 – As legislatures rise for summer, politicians vacating their respective capitals on the east coast will have plenty to think about during the hottest months of the year.

Namely, how to tackle the day’s most burning issues: health care and cost of living.

New data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds majorities in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia saying those two are the most pressing concerns in their province. At the same time, residents are more unimpressed than not at what they’ve seen from their governments on those key files.

Four-in-five in New Brunswick (83%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (83%) say their government has done poorly on health care. They are joined by two-thirds (67%) of Nova Scotians who are critical of their own government’s performance on health.

Negativity is more pervasive when it comes to provincial governments’ responses to inflation. Nine-in-ten in New Brunswick (88%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (90%), alongside four-in-five (79%) in Nova Scotia, are critical of what they’ve seen from their provincial government to help fight the rising cost of living.

While criticism of Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston and the PC government on the day’s key issues is high, it has yet to affect the political fortunes of the party. The PCs hold a 21-point lead over the Liberals and nearly three years’ worth of runway before the next election.

In neither New Brunswick nor Newfoundland and Labrador is an election looming – scheduled in 2024 and 2025 at the latest respectively – but the incumbent governments are in more precarious positions than the enviable one held by the Nova Scotia PCs. In New Brunswick, the incumbent PCs are statistically tied with the Liberals. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the incumbent Liberals trail the rival PCs by nine points. In both cases, the opposition parties will hope to capitalize on government criticism by electing new leaders prior to the beginning of campaigning.

Note: Because its small population precludes drawing discrete samples over multiple waves, data on Prince Edward Island is not released.

More Key Findings

Healthcare

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are more likely to be concerned about health care (68%) and inflation (76%) than residents of any other province in the country.

Pandemic Response

Praise outweighs criticism for all three governments on their handling of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But that remains a top priority for few constituents – seven per cent in New Brunswick, eight per cent in Nova Scotia, and six per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Housing Affordability

The third most selected issue by residents is housing affordability in New Brunswick (33%) and Nova Scotia (38%) and the deficit in Newfoundland and Labrador (32%).

Survey Methodology

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from June 7-13, 2022 among a representative randomized sample of 247 New Brunswicker adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

A representative randomized sample of 330 Nova Scotian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum was surveyed at the same time. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

A representative randomized sample of 201 Newfoundlander and Labradorian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum was surveyed at the same time. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI. Detailed tables are found at the end of this release.

For detailed results by age, gender, region, education, and other demographics, click here.

To read the full report, including detailed tables and methodology, click here

To read the questionnaire in English and French, click here.

Photo via Unsplash @ Julie Fader

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From the Angus Reid Institute, Canada’s non-profit foundation committed to independent research.

For detailed breakdown of the results, visit angusreid.org

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