Whitehorse Daily Star

Liberals’ honeymoon wanes, but support is stable

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.

By Whitehorse Star on December 20, 2017

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.

Comments (11)

Up 0 Down 1

Dougie on Dec 26, 2017 at 5:53 am

I think that it's just fantastic how the Liberals are meeting every facet of their advertised mandate.

Up 0 Down 1

Ron V. on Dec 24, 2017 at 12:56 pm

Best economic performance out of the G7 countries, lowest unemployment rate anyone can remember, 12 consecutive months of full time job growth, restored long form census, approved pipelines, replacing fair elections act, gender balanced cabinet, settlement of Syrian refugees, procurement for the military,... not too shaby.

Up 0 Down 1

Ginger Johnson on Dec 22, 2017 at 1:17 pm

MEH - it's a "devil you know" situation
as long as Sanctimonious Stacey and Two Loss Liz are leading the other Parties
I'll continue to vote Liberal
the Pasloski Party and the Wobblies are in desperate need of some talented new blood (preferably some candidates that have at least passed Economics 101)

Up 4 Down 0

The Middle Road on Dec 21, 2017 at 9:18 pm

The reason that people believe we are over governed or spend too much money on government and yet the Liberals still have significant support is obvious.
The public service support the Liberals and know that while they are in power nothing of substance will ever happen and their jobs are safe. A perfect win-win for both groups.
What we actually need is a government that will bite the bullet and reduce government by 20% and then invest that saving into real programs and infrastructure rather than bureaucracy and over government.
Sadly, it will never happen because all the Yukon Governments are held hostage by their employees who hold the single largest voting block in the Yukon.

Up 5 Down 2

ProScience Greenie on Dec 21, 2017 at 3:23 pm

So far the Libs aren't messing things up too much.

If it ain't broke don't fix it and get at the housecleaning of those terrible and useless people in upper management and don't replace them with people just as bad. Would be nice to see more Yukoners hired in positions that really don't need to be filled by Outsiders with multiple degrees. So much in government is not rocket science and can be done by our fellow citizens with a solid grade 12 or a simple diploma or degree.

Up 9 Down 0

Juniper Jackson on Dec 21, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Although I think the Liberals are a one and gone, and have been very disappointing, they have in reality, produced nothing but debt... Paslowski still had to go. The Silver government is pretty well up the federal party butt. 183 men and women in the Federal caucus ..why are they not reining in Trudeau? Declaring that we are not at war with ISIS on the eve of the Brussels bombing http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35869985 and then welcoming ISIS terrorist fighters to Canada with start up money and pensions.. is he crazy? My opinion would be yes. The incredible debt Canada is now carrying 1.3 trillion dollars in debt.. http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/government-debt-in-canada-set-to-top-1-3-trillion-in-2016-fraser-institute.. Trudeau has not kept his election promises, and on top of that done nothing for the taxpayer except tax after tax after tax, he is the first sitting PM to be found guilty of 4..yes 4 ethic's violations.. he's said he's sorry though, he's also the first sitting PM that can cry on command, I could go on until hell freezes over and they send me ice skates, Trudeau's record is that bad and that long.. So, Sandy..you think following the feds is a good plan?
My opinion: well said

Up 8 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Dec 21, 2017 at 9:45 am

I encourage Ms. Larsen to conduct another survey after Mr. Silver tables his budget in the spring and Yukoners can see what their government's priorities will be.

Up 3 Down 0

ralpH on Dec 20, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Again as I have posted in other posts, unless we come to the realization that party politics have no business in a territory with 40 thousand we are doomed to a cycle of wasteful spending and never reaching the potential this place can offer. True consensus building with a vision statement and and mission statement supported by Yukoners should be all we need to get there. All elected players then would have to answer to why they did not follow them to the letter. Polls and surveys are good but most are swayed to a specific dynamic and that is why they never give the real picture of what is really going on.

Up 11 Down 0

Good ol' Datapath on Dec 20, 2017 at 3:55 pm

“While not a true probability sample, this methodology has shown to be extremely accurate in past election studies,” the company said.

You mean like the time you guys said Larry Bagnell had it in the bag, *cough* and Ryan Leef won the election?

Up 11 Down 0

My Opinion on Dec 20, 2017 at 3:22 pm

"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)."

Pardon me? Since when is 33-29% Fairly strong? Or 20-11% Moderate Scores? Maybe this is why our kids in school think their marks are OK. Too much Fairy Dust and Unicorn Farts for me in this Government. Who paid for this study?

Up 9 Down 0

My Opinion on Dec 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm

They never surveyed me!!!!

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