Saskatchewan Residents Divided on Liquor Store Privatization

A new independent poll conducted by Insightrix Research shows that Saskatchewan residents are divided in their opinion on whether or not liquor stores in Saskatchewan should be privatized. Specifically, residents were asked to indicate whether they believe 1) liquor stores should NOT be privatized at all; 2) new liquor stores should be privatized but existing stores should remain publicly owned; or 3) all liquor stores in the province should be privately owned. One quarter (26%) of residents believe liquor stores should not be privatized at all, 34% feel the current approach is best (new stores privatized and existing stores remain public), and 23% support privatizing all liquor stores. One in ten (11%) have no opinion on the matter and 6% are unsure.

Opinions closely correlate with support for provincial political parties. Specifically, those who say they would vote for the provincial NDP if an election were held today are more likely to believe that all liquor stores should remain public (52% vs. 15% among SaskParty voters who feel the same way) while those who would vote for the SaskParty are more likely to support privatizing all liquor stores in the province (37% vs. 8% among NDP voters who feel the same way). Roughly equal proportions of SaskParty and NDP voters (34% and 31%, respectively) support the current approach of keeping existing stores public and privatizing new stores.

Further, residents were asked about the impact that privatizing Saskatchewan liquor stores could have on government spending and price and selection of products in liquor stores. Opinions are mixed in each of these areas. Specifically, roughly one half of Saskatchewan residents believe that privatizing liquor stores means there will be fewer public dollars available for health, education, highways, etc. (47%); however, 51% believe that the privatization of liquor stores will allow the government to focus on building other facilities. Turning to the customer experience side of things, roughly one half of Saskatchewan residents feel that privatizing liquor stores would mean better selection (52%) and better prices (51%) for consumers. Opposition to each of these four statements ranges from 30% to 38%, with the remaining respondents stating that they are unsure.

Saskatchewan Liquor Legislation new stores privatization research survey insightrix

Finally, when asked how residents’ support for the SaskParty would change if all liquor stores were privatized, opinions remain divided. Specifically, 26% say their impressions of the SaskParty would decrease, 47% say they would remain the same, and 13% say they would improve. Fully 14% are unsure or prefer not to say. It is noted that most of those who say their impressions would decrease are also people who say they would vote for the NDP if an election were held today (59% vs. 13% among SaskParty voters).

Research Details
A total of 800 randomly selected SaskWatch Research™ panel members participated in the online research study from June 3rd to 6th, 2014. Quotas were set by age, gender, and region to match the general population of the province. Since the research is conducted online, it is considered to be a non-probability proportion sample and therefore, margins of error are not applicable.

About SaskWatch Research™
Insightrix began developing its SaskWatch Research™ online market research panel in October 2007, using high-quality techniques including telephone recruitment and referrals from existing panel members. Presently, there are over 15,000 active panel members representing all regions of the province and distributions of the general population. The panel membership closely matches the 2011 Census based on age, gender, household composition, household income, and education. For more information, please visit http://saskwatch.ca.

For more information, please contact
Lang McGilp, Senior Research Executive
Insightrix Research Inc.
Tel: 306.657.5640 ext. 229
Cell: 306.290.9599
Email: lang.mcgilp@insightrix.com
Web: www.insightrix.com