|The Saskatchewan Party holds a ‘considerable’ lead over the NDP in early polls for the coming provincial election, according to a recent survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute.
Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party currently hold a 27-point vote intention advantage over the opposition NDP.
The institute polled 759 Saskatchewan residents from Oct. 8-13 and found 60 per cent of people said they intend to vote for the Saskatchewan Party. Another 33 per cent of people intend to vote for the NDP, while seven per cent will vote for another party.
The survey also said Moe’s personal appeal is 25 per cent higher among Saskatchewan voters, with 56 per cent of people approving of Moe, to the NDP and Ryan Meili’s 31 per cent.
Trust among voters favours heavily into Moe’s appeal, according to University of Regina political scientist Jim Farney.
“What we’re seeing in polling is there’s an awful lot of trust, there’s a big reservoir of trust there for Moe, pretty much everywhere,” Farney said.
Confidence in economic issues also factors heavily into the Saskatchewan Party’s lead in this survey.
The incumbent Saskatchewan Party sees the largest difference in support outside of the province’s urban centres, among those surveyed.
The party holds 70 per cent of decided voters throughout the rest of Saskatchewan, compared to the NDP’s 23 per cent.
Farney said he does not expect much of a change in the minds of rural voters, following Wednesday evening’s provincial debate.
“I’m not expecting, after [the debate], an NDP breakthrough into rural Saskatchewan, but it probably did not hurt them in the long game,” he said.
The races are much tighter in the urban centres, with the two parties tied with 46 per cent of decided voters in the Regina area. The Saskatchewan Party holds a 10 per cent lead in the Saskatoon area, with 52 per cent of decided voters to the NDP’s 42 per cent.
Of those polled, 38 per cent identified health care as the most important issue heading into the election. The economy came in a close second at 35 per cent.
Health care and the economy are also the top two issues to voters in each region polled: the greater Regina area, the greater Saskatoon area and the rest of Saskatchewan.
These 4 key issues were discussed in the 2020 Sask. leaders debate
Resource issues, such as oil and gas, are more important in the rest of Saskatchewan, outside of the urban centres. Of those polled, 34 per cent of people in the rest of Saskatchewan identified resources as their top issue in the coming election, compared to 22 per cent and 18 per cent in the Regina and Saskatoon areas respectively.
The NDP holds a slight advantage when it comes to health care, with 44 per cent of voters believing they would be best party to lead in that area, compared to the Saskatchewan Party’s 39 per cent. The NDP also holds a 15 per cent lead over the Saskatchewan Party when it comes to who would be best to lead the COVID-19 response.
When it comes to the other important election issues however, the Saskatchewan Party is heavily favoured.
Those polled consider resources, economic growth and taxes as the most important issue in 2020. The Saskatchewan Party leads the NDP in these areas by 83 per cent, 75 per cent and 57 per cent respectively.
Although Scott Moe holds a high appeal rating among Saskatchewan voters, many of those polled feel the province needs a stronger opposition and an alternative to the two prominent parties.
A total of 64 per cent of voters said Saskatchewan needs a stronger opposition. This sentiment is strongest in the urban centres, with 77 per cent and 71 per cent of those polled in the Regina area and Saskatoon areas respectively, agreeing more strength is needed on the other side of the house.
Additionally, just over half of those polled feel Saskatchewan needs a third party in the political centre, between the Saskatchewan Party and NDP.
Meet the 6 leaders running in the Saskatchewan election
A total of 69 per cent of people who plan to support the NDP said they would like to see more choice on the ballot, compared to 36 per cent of Saskatchewan Party supporters.
A majority of voters in the 18-34 and 35-54 age groups would like to see a third strong political option. Conversely, people over the age of 55 are fine with the status quo, with 58 per cent of men and women in this age group saying they disagree that the province needs another party option.