Manitoba Liberals are in trouble. A new public opinion poll from Insight Manitoba puts Liberal support at 15 percent. The Progressive Conservatives dominate at 42 percent and the NDP have picked up some support. They are at 22 percent of decided voters. Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari is showing her inexperience. She struggles to answer detailed questions. She has lost candidates by a very poor vetting process. The party lacks resources to find candidates and support staff who can fill out Election Manitoba forms properly. It’s tough to stop the bleeding when the news is negative.
The NDP has picked up some support but not enough. Too many voters are angry with Premier Greg Selinger. Winnipeg City Councillor Brian Mayes is knocking on doors in St. Vital for the NDP. “Too many people can’t stand the leader,” Mayes told me earlier this week. It’s a theme repeated over and over at the doors and pollsters asking the key question about Selinger. The trust is gone.
Selinger is also spending time in ridings trying to hang on to seats. When he’s door knocking in Transcona or making a community club announcement in the Interlake it’s about hanging on to seats that would normally be safe. The NDP is in trouble in south, west and northeast Winnipeg.
The only error Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister has made is to say “everything is on the table” on potential government cuts. He is quoted in NDP attack ads as saying there are “no sacred cows.”
— Solidarity Winnipeg (@SolWinnipeg) March 18, 2016
Is it working? Not really. The PC strategy has been to portray Pallister as a kind, family man who is ready to lead. He is staying out of trouble. He needs to answer key questions on specifics but so far the ballot box questions remains “it’s time for a change.”
This is an important week for Pallister. If he can stick to the script this could be a landslide for the Tories. Yes, two weeks is a lifetime in politics but with Bokhari and Selinger the only question now is how large the majority will be on April 19th.