Manitoba Residents Dissatisfied with COVID-19 Handling Likely to Shift Election Loyalties


An estimated one-third of the residents in Manitoba have expressed dissatisfaction in the provincial government’s conduct in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. This, they claim, may significantly shift their loyalties in the forthcoming elections, reducing their chances of voting for the incumbent Progressive Conservatives.

A recent survey commissioned by Probe Research offered insight into the potential influence of the government’s pandemic response on the forthcoming electoral decisions of Manitoban voters. Probe Research’s president, Scott MacKay, describes the intensity of this sentiment, “Approximately a third of the electorate mention they’re less inclined to vote Conservatives as a result of the pandemic’s handling.”

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While many might not dwell on their pandemic experiences in the context of elections, MacKay added that around a third of Manitobans could factor this in as they cast their votes. However, not all participants echoed the same sentiments, with a majority of approximately 60% indicating that the government’s pandemic response would not influence their voting preferences.

Interestingly, a minor section, comprising about 7%, confessed that the government’s tackle of the pandemic could increase their inclination towards the Progressive Conservatives. Among those seeking alternatives to the incumbent government, over half (53%) are reportedly New Democratic Party (NDP) supporters, 35% are Liberal supporters, and a meager 9% are PC supporters.

The regional divide in opinion is also noteworthy, with more Winnipeg residents acknowledging the influence of the pandemic response on their vote compared to those residing outside the city. Furthermore, more than half (55% of the surveyed voters) endorsed the idea of a public inquiry into the provincial government’s handling of the pandemic.

Pandemic responses also featured prominently in the election campaigns of Manitoba’s two leading parties. Both Progressive Conservatives and NDP have reassured their constituents of avoiding any further COVID-19 induced lockdowns if they emerge victorious in the elections. This reflects their shared commitment towards balancing public health concerns with the need to rejuvenate the economy shattered by previous restrictions.

These findings were a result of a comprehensive survey carried out by Probe Research between September 7 and 18, involving 1,000 adults within Manitoba. While a sample size of this scale offers a margin of error of ±3.1%, the margin tends to increase among different population subgroups.