Nearly half the respondents of a recent poll would vote Liberal in a territorial election held today, and many believe the Yukon government is far too large.
Those conclusions are among the results of the latest DataPath Systems poll released today.
The survey shows that satisfaction scores for the Yukon Liberal Party have fallen since their peak in March 2017.
At that point, high scores (4/5 on a five-point scale) were at 31 per cent. That had dropped to 23 per cent by the end of November.
“This is expected,” said Donna Larsen, a DataPath partner.
“We saw the same effect in 2011 for the Yukon Party, where satisfaction ratings increase into the mid-30 per cent following an election, then drop back down again with a year.”
That said, based on the data from decided voters, if a territorial election was held today, 47 per cent of Yukoners (among decided voters, with 12 per cent undecided) would likely vote Liberal. That’s similar to the 48 per cent seen last March.
The Yukon Party would earn 36 per cent of the decided vote in an immediate election, the poll discovered.
The New Democrats would garner 11 per cent, the Green Party five per cent and other preferences one per cent.
Just prior to the November 2016 election, a poll reported 36 per cent support for the Liberal party. It won the election with 37 per cent of the vote, ousting then-premier Darrell Pasloski’s Yukon Party.
“So while satisfaction is lower, election support is stable since March,” added Larsen.
The reasons that Yukoners support their party of preference differ greatly among the parties, the poll has found.
Those who support the Liberal party are doing so either because they agree with its policies or ideas (38 per cent) or they like the current leader, Premier Sandy Silver (33 per cent).
Yukon Party supporters mainly agree with their party’s policies or ideas (59 per cent) or don’t like Premier Sandy Silver (36 per cent of respondents).
NDP loyalists are more unified, the poll found, with 84 per cent agreeing with their party’s policies or ideas.
On several specific government rating questions, responses differed greatly, depending on which party the respondents supported.
Twenty-five per cent of Yukoners overall agreed (somewhat or strongly) that “the Liberal party has made significant improvements since taking office,” the data report.
This increases to 43 per cent among Liberal supporters, DataPath found.
The poll found a few topics where Yukoners are more likely to agree, despite some party differences.
For instance, 63 per cent disagree that “a Yukon sales tax is critical to the economy of the Yukon.”
Silver recently ruled out introducing a sales tax, which, under the current law, would have had to go to a public referendum for approval.
Fifty-six per cent of respondents agreed, “the size of the (Yukon) government is far too large.”
Even 44 per cent of government employees agreed that the size of the government is far too large, currently numbering at an estimated 5,600 employees, excluding political staff, as of December 2016.
On the federal election scene, support for the Liberal party has fallen since last March.
At that time, 46 per cent of Yukoners would have supported the Liberal party if the election had been held that day (among decided voters), but that has dropped to 39 per cent today.
There is a strong correlation between party support at the Yukon level and at the federal level.
For all parties, approximately 80 per cent report supporting the same party either in the Yukon or at the federal level.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received fairly strong marks (4/5 on a five-point scale from poor to excellent) on foreign affairs (33 per cent), and overall leadership (29 per cent).
He received moderate scores on the economy (20 per cent) and the environment (20 per cent) and low scores on northern issues (11 per cent).
DataPath Systems is an independent, Yukon-based market research company. Data collection was conducted Nov. 18-30.
A total of 424 surveys were completed online, using the DataPath Yukon Panel of respondents.
Respondents have been randomly recruited over the past 15 years, using phone, intercept and email.
“While not a true probability sample, this methodology has shown to be extremely accurate in past election studies,” the company said.
“Had it been a true probability sample, the margin of error would be +/- 4.8 per cent (at 95 per cent confidence levels).”
Data have been weighted to ensure representativeness on gender, age, employment, community, Aboriginal/First Nations and education.
This portion of the survey was non-commissioned, paid for by DataPath.