The results of an Angus Reid poll released Monday show Premier Tom Marshall is the third most popular premier in the country.
Marshall’s approval rating is 49 per cent, well above the 24 per cent held by former premier Kathy Dunderdale who called it quits before Marshall was appointed on an interim basis until a new leader is elected in the summer.
He is behind Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall, who is in first, and Nova Scotia’s Stephen McNeil.
Two men, Bill Barry and Frank Coleman, are in the running for the permanent job.
The improvement in just a few short months at the helm shows how much perception and straightforwardness mean in politics.
Dunderdale never seemed to connect with voters.
It didn’t seem to matter if she was delivering good or bad news, she didn’t quite manage to leave the impression she was working for those who elected her.
Marshall, on the other hand, is naturally affable and never leaves the impression that he is partisan or snooty.
He operates in an informal manner when it’s appropriate and the results of the change in approach are shown in the latest poll numbers. Truth be told, not much has changed since Dunderdale has left.
The budget didn’t have much in it to cause voters to rise up and cheer, many of the other changes involve doing little more than doing studies or appointing committees.
So it’s all in the approach and delivery.
Residents can accept plenty of bad new if the reason for it is explained and they are engaged from the beginning.
Now the next premier will have to build on the goodwill Marshall has built with the electorate.
When the next Tory leader leaves the leadership convention in July and prepares for a looming general election, their first act should be to send Tom Marshall a thank you note.
He will have made the prospect of winning that election much less daunting.