Dalton McGuinty kicks off his bid for a third term as Ontario premier ranked almost at the bottom of popularity among provincial leaders, according to a new online poll.
The Ontario Liberal Leader scores just slightly higher than Quebec Premier Jean Charest in a Vision Critical/Angus Reid poll released Tuesday. Thirty-one per cent of respondents said they approved of Mr. McGuinty's performance compared to 30 per cent for Mr. Charest.
The results led Angus Reid pollster Mario Canseco to conclude that Mr. McGuinty is "not connecting as well as in the previous two elections."
A Nanos Research poll published in The Globe, meanwhile, showed he was considered the best premier among the three contenders to lead Ontario – the others being Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and the NDP's Andrea Horwath.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who takes his party to the polls in Novembers, is the most popular of the provincial leaders in the Angus Reid poll. With 63 per cent support, he is followed by Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale with 58 per cent.
Manitoba's Greg Selinger, who launched his bid for re-election Tuesday, placed third with 52 per cent support. It will be Mr. Selinger's first trip to the polls as NDP Leader, with Manitobans casting their ballots on Oct. 4.
"With the elections around the corner, the survey really shows the strength of Brad Wall's popularity and leadership , and the extraordinary comeback from Greg Selinger, who had a very low name recognition just a few months ago," Mr. Canseco said.
British Columbia's new Liberal Premier Christy Clark sits at fifth place with 42 per cent, just behind New Brunswick's David Alward with 44 per cent. Alberta's Ed Stelmach, who is on his way out, and Nova Scotia's Darrell Dexter both scored 33 per cent support.
PEI Premier Robert Ghiz is not part of the poll, since his province's population is too small to put together a representative sample. Islanders go to the polls on Oct. 3, making it a very busy provincial election season.
Angus Reid conducts similar surveys every three months and each time Mr. McGuinty is at the bottom of the pack. In the previous polls – released in May and February – he scored 17 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. Only Mr. Charest gets worse marks.
Mr. Wall, meanwhile, is always the favourite. In the previous two polls enjoyed support of 59 per cent and 63 per cent.
The online survey of 6,557 Canadians was conducted between Aug. 10 and Aug. 16.