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Thursday, October 08, 2009

snapshot wildrose: new poll places wildrose alliance in second place.

Polls can sometimes be strange and unpredictable snapshots, but this one is fascinating:

Alberta-wide
Progressive Conservative: 38.4%
Wildrose Alliance: 21.5%
Liberal: 20.5%
NDP: 10.7%
Other: 8.5%

Edmonton
Progressive Conservative: 34.5%
Liberal: 27.5%
NDP: 17%
Wildrose Alliance: 13.1%
Other: 11.1%

Calgary
Progressive Conservative: 38.2%
Wildrose Alliance: 27%
Liberal: 20.7%
NDP: 6.6%
Other: 7.7%
Initial thoughts: A public approval poll in June revealed that Albertans were disgruntled and cranky with their current political leadership and the results of this poll appears to confirm that.

This is obvious good news for the Wildrose Alliance because it means that many Albertans are aware enough of their existence to support them when questioned by a telephone surveyor (even if they're not sure what that party stands for). Their leadership vote is on October 17, and this poll paired with the recent by-election of Paul Hinman in Calgary-Glenmore strengthens the appearance that they are the only party with a semblance of momentum. The challenge will be to keep Albertans interested as they learn more about the right-wing party. In my opinion, Danielle Smith is the only candidate in their leadership contest with the potential to drive the momentum further.

The poll results show negative momentum for the traditional political parties in the two largest urban centers (I haven't seen the rural results). With Official Opposition leader David Swann hailing from Calgary, the Liberals should be concerned by their 13% drop in the city that was their only growth area in the last election (the Liberals increased their Calgary seat total to five MLAs with the election of Kent Hehr and Darshan Kang). While they remain in a province-wide distant third place, the poll results suggest that the NDP are have largely held on to their base of support in Edmonton and very moderately increased their already extremely small base of support in Calgary.

With a leadership review fast approaching, this poll is bad news for Premier Ed Stelmach. The PC party brass may attempt to spin the results as a case for party members to rally to protect their party's brand, but for the non-partisan majority, there is a large question of what the long-governing PCs even still stand for. With their lowest poll results in recent memory, it is clear that many Albertans are questioning the leadership and the confused direction that the the near 40-year ruling party is taking our province.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the PDF of the poll results.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Recent memory" is in the eye of the beholder, Dave. I remember 1992, when the PCs were at about 16 per cent, I think. Even early in 1993, until Ralph axed the pension plan. I was talking to a guy on Tuesday who told me about 1982, after Gordon Kessler took one of our seats and everyone said we were toast. I also remember 2008 (I think we can all agree that was recent?), when Peter Mansbridge told us all to tune in to watch the end of the Tory dynasty. I'll hold off hitting the panic button just yet. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Argh, the WAP leadership race is the same day as ChangeCamp Edmonton! That's some unfortunate double booking.

hatrock said...

It will be curious to see how many Liberals shoot up the middle with right-side vote-splitting.

That said, I suspect with the election of Danielle Smith (if she doesn't win, there will be a massive vacuum), and if she makes her case (which she's doing), she may just convince enough soft PCs (is there any other kind?) to try her out for size, leaving the PC candidate in the dust (as what happened in Calgary recently).

Anonymous said...

@hatrock I don't think you'll see any Liberals shooting up anything. My strong suspicion is that the final nail has just been placed in their party coffin.

They promised to renew and reinvigorate the party from the status quo, that had served them so badly for 80 years running. They did NONE of it! I put it down to the fact that they were more interested in big donations than big ideas. That which can't adapt, doesn't survive.

Blame the ALP for all of this. I never thought I'd see the day when the PC's would become the left of centre alternative. That is what has happened.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Where's Daryl Raymaker to tell us there's nothing to worry about?

What does he have to say about rumors that Dave Taylor and Brigitte Pastor are think about joining Danielle?

Please give us you insight oh mighty Raymaker...

McCauley said...

Did anybody get any of those annoying phone calls from Mark Dyrholm a few days ago -- basically stating Danielle Smith as a fraud or fake. Really disappointed with his politics of fear.

daveberta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
daveberta said...

Anonymous: You're right, "recent memory" is in the eye of the beholder. 1992 doesn't seem that long ago, but in the difference in context in Alberta politics, 17 years might as well be a millennium ago.

This is bad news for the PCs, but the results are equally as bad for the two opposition parties in the Legislature as their defacto status as the default opposition is being directly challenged by a new force.

daveberta said...

Also, here are the results from 2008 to keep the poll results in perspective:

Province-wide
PC: 52.6%
Lib: 26.2%
NDP: 8.5%
Wildrose: 6.7%

Edmonton
PC: 42.7%
Lib: 33.4%
NDP: 18%
Wildrose: 1.5%

Calgary
PC: 45.8%
Lib: 33.9%
Wildrose: 8.96%
NDP: 4.21%

Jennie / Jae said...

Wow. Wow!!!

Roman said...

I have spoken to various conservatives who continue to support the PCs because the "Liberals aren't ready to govern", or words to that effect. It amazes me that people would already support the Wildrose, an unproven entity if there ever were one.

Anonymous said...

Time for Ed Stelmach to go.

Only Ted Morton can save the Conservative Party now.

Anonymous said...

Everybody who says this is good news for the Liberals is an idiot, and everybody who says this is the end of the world for the Liberals is an idiot.

Oh, and the idea that Dave Taylor is mulling switching to the Alliance is just about the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Seems we get one of these every couple of months about the guy.

He's not even in the country right now! I seriously doubt he's sticking a knife in Swann's back from his African safari.

Chris said...

If Stelmach spent less time golfing with his tailor and more time being Premier my yearly party donations would be better used. How can I help Brett Wilson become Premier?

SupremelySkeptical said...

Faron Ellis of Lethbridge College - who pulled this all together - is a very suspect source.

He's an old time Reformer who I've been told has been active on Danielle Smith's leadership campaign. This is about as trustworth as a poll released by the PCs that found 80% of Albertans think Ed Stelmach is the man!

Any pollsters out there way to pick apart this guy's work?

Anonymous said...

African Safari??? That sounds like a pretty liberal-elitist thing to do...j/k

Suppose, just suppose, that Danielle is a social liberal and fiscal conservative. You know as well as me that most Albertans are this very thing....live and let live and spend our tax dollars wisely.

What would happen if Danielle pushed a prudent and popular fiscal policy....and wanted more women in government...was entirely supportive an openly gay WAP candidate...supported arts and culture? Sounds like a modern-day Lougheed, with a recipe for success.

This is a party I could see Dave Taylor joining.

daveberta said...

I've updated the post with a link to the PDF of the poll results. Here are the results from 'North' and 'South' Alberta:

North
PC: 44.8%
Wildrose: 23.8%
Lib: 12.7%
NDP: 12.2%

South
PC: 45.6%
Wildrose: 24.2%
Lib: 17.4%
NDP: 4.7

The WAP support is surprisingly evenly spread across the province (with the exception of Edmonton).

Tory Trip said...

It's a mistake to minimize the role of the CPC in the WildRose Party success. Myron Thompson. David Chatters. Campaigners from Jason Kenny and Harper's organizations are central players.

Brian Dell said...

Myron Thompson is so totally for Dyrholm that he has his voice robocalling every Wildrose member in the province saying vote for Dyrholm at the end of next week because "you know I don't like liberals."

It's unclear how much he would support the party if Danielle Smith won the leadership.

I'd also note that Mark Lisac is doubtful that either Stockwell Day or Stephen Harper could have become premier in this province without launching a new party outside the Alberta PC Association. The tie between the federal and provincial Tories could not have ever been especially strong given that when I ran for Wildrose last year the party was hardly on the radar screen yet there were federal Tories on the candidate conference calls who specialized in communications and advertising (for what it is worth, they wanted to go after Stelmach with negative ads like they went after Dion federally, which I thought would backfire given "Honest Ed"'s good reputation at the doors (at least in Edmonton) but which in hindsight might have worked...)

Anonymous said...

It's also unclear how much Danielle would support the WAP if Dyrholm were to win.

Lloyd Snelgrove's Creepy Goatee said...

Supremely Skeptical is right. Any pollster worth their salt would not publish anything undertaken by an undergrad stats class at some cow college without stating some major caveats. There may be something to these results, but I'd rather see it from a reputable pollster, not a publicity-seeking goofball like Faron Ellis.

I like how Trish Audette buried that rather important bit of info in the last paragraph of the story. She obviously wants to use this to create hysteria.

Ryan said...

With Alberta's media pimping for them at every turn, it's really no surprise that a party that 5 seconds ago was a fringe has this amount of support.

In fact, it seems to me that you've discussed this leadership race more than you discussed that of the official opposition (you know, a party with elected members) last year. Has Daveberta gone mainstream? Perhaps there will be a "save local blogs" campaign blasting ISPs for carrying your blog without paying you for its content.

Sure, it's true the WRA is making some interesting Alberta politics. It's too bad that none of that interest comes from the merits of anything the party or its corporatist base has done. This palace revolution with quasi-grassroots pretensions would be nothing without the overblown hype that has been afforded to them by our elite-worshiping media.

Anonymous said...

Prepare for a litany of whining and excuses from the PC's. The PC's demand that the electorate be loyal to them. How dare the electorate even consider another party.

How about rather than whining and blaming the media and everyone else, you silly PC's actually DO SOMETHING and get this province back in track.

Oh, and since you have posted anonymously Mr. Paid PC Staffer, consider me the anonymous electorate posting back.

Anonymous said...

The tie between federal and provincial tories is actually very strong. I know my MLA wouldn't have been elected without the support of his MP.

Anonymous said...

In this clearer video of Paul Hinman electioneering at a polling station, you can now make out the woman's face that's with him a little better. I'm not sure, but is that Danielle Smith?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRUWuT08tf0

Anonymous said...

wow anonymous 10:22 - i didn't want to pass too much judgement on the handshaking outside of polling stations but seeing it blatantly on video - wow! That is just gross. For a "legitimate" political party they should all know better. For shame.