Kenney's approval drops to 22 per cent, lowest among Canadian premiers
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's approval rating has dropped to 22 per cent, the lowest among provincial leaders in Canada, according to numbers released Wednesday by Angus Reid.
That's a drop of nine per cent compared to a similar poll done in June, which then showed Kenney's approval at 31 per cent.
Almost all provincial leaders saw a drop in popularity between June and this week, save for Ontario Premier Doug Ford, whose approval went up one per cent..
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs each saw their approval drop nearly 20 points in the last quarter to 43 and 38 per cent respectively, down from 61 and 55 per cent.
Quebec Premier François Legault also had his approval drop 10 points, to 56 per cent, the same as B.C. Premier John Horgan, who fell seven points.
Some critics in Alberta have called on Kenney to resign, pointing out former premier Alison Redford did in 2014 after an approval rating of just 18 per cent, but the current situation is a slightly different one, says Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams.
"He's got a lot of control within the party so I think it's important to appreciate the difference between where Jason Kenney is, and where Alison Redford was, for example," she said.
"Because Alison Redford really didn't ever have the support of caucus, she only had one person endorse her for the leadership and she never really brought the rest of caucus on side with her after winning the leadership. Whereas, Jason Kenney is very strategic, and he's sort of playing the numbers and apparently thinks he still has some chance of winning party members over."
A leadership review is planned for April 2022, during the UCP annual general meeting in Edmonton, with the timeline having been moved up from the fall.
Some UCP caucus members have criticized health measures for going too far, while others say it’s been too little too late.
And it's that division that is causing Kenney many of his problems, says Doreen Barrie, an adjunct assistant professor of political science at the University of Calgary,
"Jason Kenney has several problems but most of them are internal, his caucus is split between those who want more stringent measures and those who want less, and I think he's been able to gain peace is by threatening to call an election and take the party down with him," she said.
Another issue, said Barrie, is that "there is no graceful exit available to Kenney."
"He's flailing around, hoping that this equalization referendum and the Senate election will buy him some time, but I think these are weapons of mass distraction, they're meaningless really, both of these intiatives, so he really doesn't know what to do."
CTV Calgary has reached out to Kenney's office for comment on the poll.
Commissioned by ARI, the latest online survey was done between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3 and queried 5,011 adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. A sample of this size carries a margin of error +/- 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.