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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

stelmach tories diving.

In December 2008, Environics released a poll showing Premier Ed Stelmach's Progressive Conservatives with 62% support across the province.

One year later, after Bill 44, Bill 19, Bill 50, a record budget deficit, a by-election loss, visions of Northumberland, and Danielle Smith's entry onto the political stage, a new poll from Environics is showing the Stelmach led-PCs in a very different situation.

The telephone poll, conducted Oct. 19-31, finds that 34% of decided voters would cast a ballot for Mr. Stelmach and his Progressive Conservatives if an election were held now, compared to 28% for the fledgling Wildrose Alliance and new leader Danielle Smith.

The Liberals are in third with the backing of 20% of voters, followed by the NDP at 9% and the Greens at 8%.
The poll places the Stelmach-led PCs in second place in Calgary with 30% compared to 34% for the Wildrose Alliance, the Liberals at 20%, and the NDP at 8%. In Edmonton, the PC have the support of one-third of voters, followed by the Liberals at 27%, the Wildrose Alliance at 17% and the NDP at 13%. Outside the two major cities, the PCs hold 38% support, while the Wildrose Alliance has 32% and the Liberals are in third with 15%.

I am sure that this is not the kind of news that Premier Stelmach was hoping for only days before he faces a leadership review from his party's delegates.


Anonymous said...

Premier Danielle Smith and Finance Minister Brett Wilson. You read it here first.

Anonymous said...

If Stelmach gets a strong show of support by his parties delegates it means the writing is on the wall for the PC dynasty. It might be anyways, but their best chance to pull out of this tailspin is to admit that the current leadership has serious flaws. That extends to select pieces of cabinet too.

At this point I think their best bet is to replace Stelmach with a dynamic urban voice and move some of their best rookie MLAs into key cabinet positions. Let's get people with real world experience running appropriate ministries. Put Raj Sherman in as Health Minister, put Janice Sarich in as Education Minister. Those kinds of folks have backgrounds in the areas they are currently Parliamentary Secretary "understudies" for.

The PC's best hope is to transform themselves into a more modern centrist party. Currently they and the WAP are both vying for the position of "rural right wing" status, with the PCs having the dual albatross of Stelmach as leader and a general perception of being an old and out of touch party.

It's not too late to make these changes and the majority of Albertans would much prefer a leadership review and reinvigorated PC party to the nutbars that are the Wildrose Alliance. I hope the PC delegates do the right thing and end Ed's term.

Anonymous said...

Who conducted the telephone interview? This is the first thing I've heard of a poll any other polling done on party preference?

Chris LaBossiere said...

Anonymous #2, are you reading my mail?

Although I can't say anything about the ministerial understudies, I tend to agree with everything you say otherwise.

My only regret is that I WISH Premier Stelmach was a better leader, because he seems like a hell of a nice man.

I was at an event tonight where he spoke very well, and I can't help but think that he might be a victim of trusting his handlers and advisors too much, and not trusting his instincts and ability to connect with most Albertans.

But then again, I am a Conservative mostly.

Good points, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Where is this poll, Dave? Your link leads to a National Post page that doesn't exist, and there is no mention of this poll on the Evironics web page.

Tommy said...

No fair! Northumberland was on purpose! Like, to show we're in the world and it's cool to be world class. Really!

Anonymous said...

Time to sweep the dead wood our of your office, Eddie!!!!!

Oracular Spectacular said...

This is a quantum shift in Alberta politics. The Alliance have become the defacto PC's. The PC's have become the defacto Liberals. The Liberals have become the defacto NDP. I think most all Liberal support will shift to the PC's as they will be seen as the only VIABLE alternative to the far-right Alliance. At least I'm sure it will be exactly like that at the next election.

Too bad the Libs didn't move to the centre in, policy and name, when they had the chance.

Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

A couple of comments:

a) I'll be in Red Deer this weekend, will be attending a lunch with the Premier and I am quite certain that the vote will be positive to support the Premier;

b) That being said - the current discord is, really, a good thing for the PC Party. With comfort comes complacency - and the challenge put to the party, and, no mistake, it's a real challenge from our citizens, opens up doors to create change where otherwise, there would be little political will to "upset the apple cart".

There are some good things going on in Alberta, but, right now, it's easier to concentrate on the challenges. Which is fine.

I say, wait and see.

Anonymous said...

The best strategy for the PC party is to move further to the right and co-opt the Wildrose Alliance base. This means elevating Ted Morton to finance minister and some parliamentary assistants like Doug Griffiths, Jonathan Denis, and Manmeet Bhullar to full ministers.

Lorne said...

re: Visions of Northumberland

At the implied request of Health Minister Liepert, I got out of the Government Supplemental Health plan (Bkue Cross), mostly because they doubled the premium. I settled on a Manulife plan. A few weeks ago I got some promotional mail from Manulife that had a nice young family on a windswept beach. Yes, you guessed it, the same kids as the government used in their promotions. Same cute kids, nice looking parents.

I wonder if the connection is coincidental or if the private carriers are in league with the government over supplemental health coverage?

Urban Spork said...

It's hard to take a poll too seriously that has a de-listed party - the Greens - getting 8%. That vote seems more likely to go Liberal or ND than Wildrose.

Also, given the October 19 to 31 timeframe, this is nothing more than a reflection of a Danielle Smith honeymoon. I'd love to see the daily trackings on this one.

daveberta said...

Chris: The very first time I met Ed Stelmach, I was impressed with how nice of a man he seemed to be. Our conversation was among a small group of people, and I have heard other people say that they have also been impressed with him in smaller groups. It is obvious that he has a difficult time communicating in front of large groups of people and the media, so what do you believe needs to change for him to become better at connecting with the public? Is it that he trusts his handlers and advisors too much? Should they 'let Ed be Ed?'

daveberta said...

Rob, thanks for the comments. I also believe that Premier Stelmach will do well at the leadership review. I think that we sometimes forget that the kind of people who are going to shelve out $400 delegate fees and travel across the province for these kind of meetings are party faithful. The Environics poll wasn't a poll of PC members (though, it would be interesting to see what that poll would show).

The current discord is a good thing for politics in Alberta. It is a long time until the next election, but hopefully things will continue to be shaken up.

Anonymous said...

The only benefactors from things being "shaken up" - the media, with increased numbers. The losers: everyday Albertans.

Kyle said...

Tories second place in Calgary?

I bet Kyle Fawcett is feeling ill this week. I can't wait until I can vote Danielle Smith as the MLA Calgary-North Hill!

L. Danno said...

Wow. A 19-percent drop for Ed Stelmach since the last election.

This spells bad news for the PC Party and bad news for the Liberals. The LIbs are at only 20% in Calgary and 27% in Edmonton. Swann had his chance. Is Dave Taylor still keen on the leadership?

Brett Wilson could be good for the PC Party. Smart. New. Telegenic. Rich. Urban.

Berry Farmer said...

I agree with whoever said, "it's difficult to take a poll too seriously that has the de-listed Greens getting 8%.


That shows to me just how disconnected many potential voters are with what's going on.

With that sort of thinking, it seems likely a great deal of support for the WAP comes from dissatisfied voters who simply want something NEW and fresh, but don't really understand what they're looking for.

With little in the way of detailed policy, many seem to be putting their "eggs of hope" into the still empty basket that is the WAP.

Sadly, so much of politics and leadership in this country now revolve around perception rooted in bumper stickers, glossy images and catchy slogans.


Anonymous said...

I think it's time for the NDP to shake things up. I like Brian Mason, but he really isn't trying anything new that he hasn't done before. (Although he is still pretty effective in the Legislature - but it's not resulting in more popular support) I wish he would step down for Notley or Eggen to take over and give the party a fresh face. It might not translate into a lot of new votes, but it's worth a shot.

As for the big news in the poll, I can't imagine how Tories can look at this poll and support Stelmach's leadership. They need to shake things up soon, or they are heading the way of social credit.

Greg S. said...

Time for a cabinet shuffle. Liepert has to go. So do Tarchuk and Evans. Promote Doug Griffiths, Cindy Ady, Dave Rodney, Raj Sherman, and Janice Sarich. You have a strong farm team, Ed. Use it or lose it.

Greg S. said...

I second the comments about replacing Swann and Mason. Dave Taylor and Rachel Notley would make their parties much more relevant than they are now.

Any chance of Dave Bronconnier going provincial?

jay said...

If this poll is accurate, it means that a lot of Albertans are willing to hand over a blank check to the WRA. That should work.

Coulter Bowden said...

Wildrose shouldn't be underestimated. Tom Flanagan, Ezra Levant, Stephen Carter, Link Byfield are some of the powerful political operatives that are working behind the scenes to make Danielle Smith the next Premier of Alberta.

Watch Peter Mansbridge's interview with her to understand why they have joined her team. When was the last time Mansbridge interviewed the Liberal or NDP leaders? When was the last time Mansbridge interviewed the Premier?

Hilarious!!! said...

Stephen Carter is a powerful political operative?

My god that's funny. I assume, Coulter Bowden, that you are either Stephen Carter himself or his press agent.

Anonymous said...

What was even more hiliarious was a question Mansbridge asked Smith - why she was mad about a deficit in Alberta (fair enough) but accepted a record deficit from the feds.

Danielle Smith is not a leader!

Anonymous said...

With regards to a cabinet shuffle in DEC 2009 or Jan 2010, the most noticeable person to go should be Ron Liepert from health. This Health post should be given to Raj Sherman, who, actually understands Healthcare, can reach people, speak intelligently and is actually quite personable and smart. To politically strengthen his team and cement healthcare, Ed STelmach needs Raj sherman at the ship's helm on healthcare. Raj has also been an excellent decision maker and has a way of explaining difficult policies, that would make it easy for the public to swallow tough decisions from the government. Charm and brains. Ed would be insane to not give this porfolio to Sherman. Last I checked, he was a fiscal conservative, the fit is too good to pass up.