A Saskatoon-based political expert says the latest Mainstreet poll showing a fall in Saskatchewan Party support is sending a message.
University of Saskatchewan political science professor Joe Garcea told 650 CKOM the government’s unpopular budget and GTH scandal are behind the low numbers.
“There’s a sense of malaise that things are not going well (in the province),” he said.
“The unconditional support the government seemed to have is lost. The honeymoon period is over.”
Garcea noted the strongest factor in people’s decisions to change their support would be the spring budget, which cut programs and services for thousands of residents.
“A lot of people know someone who’s been affected by this budget,” he said.
The professor said the surge in NDP support is aided by the fact they haven’t elected a leader.
He said the nine-point lead could either diminish or widen depending on public reception to the new leader, once they’re in place.
While the election is three years away, Garcea said the Sask. Party and Premier Brad Wall have to take the polls seriously if they want to be re-elected.
“The government has to really think about doing business a little bit differently,” he said, listing financial management and respect as major issues.
Garcea added there’s a perception the Wall government is in an “angry” state, responding to criticism too readily.
“They’ve perhaps been a little too sensitive to criticism rather than taking it as constructive criticism,” he said.
However, the analyst noted the Sask. Party has plenty of time to change course.
“A day is a long time in politics,” he said. “Three years is an eternity.”