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Friday, December 11, 2009


At least according to a recent Angus-Reid poll:

An Angus Reid Public Opinion survey of 1,000 decided Alberta voters finds 39 per cent of the electorate would cast a ballot for party leader Danielle Smith and the right-of-centre Wildrose Alliance if they went to the polls today.

The fledgling party is pulling away from Premier Ed Stelmach's Progressive Conservatives, who are tied with David Swann's Liberals for second place, with the backing of 25 per cent of decided voters provincewide.

Brian Mason and the NDP are in fourth spot with the support of nine per cent of Alberta voters, while two per cent said they would vote for another party.
The Wildrose Alliance still has a long way to go before it has the policy infrastructure, credible candidates, and functionally competitive constituency association in 87 ridings to realize the advantage of these polls, but at the moment these results should send shockwaves through the three institutional parties.


daveberta said...

According to Don Braid's Calgary Herald column this morning, here are the breakdowns:

Wildrose Alliance: 38%,
Liberals: 30%
PC: 23%
NDP: 6%

Wildrose Alliance: 36%
Liberals: 26%
PCs: 25%
NDP: 12%

"Rural Alberta"
Wildrose Alliance: 44%
PC: 25%
Liberal: 21%
NDP: 7%

Anonymous said...

Though I appreciate your intentions Dave, Danielle Smith has changed Alberta's political landscape overnight, whereas the reboots, renews, rewinds and rechangecamps that you advocate haven't done much. To what do you attibute Danille's success in this regard? Are the 're' people on the wrong path?

It makes me wonder if David Swann and his party could have capitalized on this general discontent via a new and renamed party. I think that's why Danielle has done so well...offering something new, to shake off the political malaise.

daveberta said...

Anonymous - I agree. At least in the short-term, Smith has helped her party turn the political landscape upside down.

Reboot Alberta was held two weeks ago, so it is still too early to tell what kind of effect it will have. I am working with a group of people on the next phase of Reboot Alberta and I will be writing a post about it later today. There is still lots of work to do!

Josh Kjenner said...

Anon 9:16:

Overnight? The Alberta Alliance was formed seven years ago.

The "reboots, renews, rewinds and rechangecamps" haven't "done much" yet because they've all happened within the last 6 months.

Anonymous said...

The Liberals (and NDs and Greens) have pissed away yet another of the "once a generation" power shifts in Alberta. The left in Alberta seems content to navel gaze. We're headed for a Wild Rose government.

It is exciting that Alberta will likely get its first female Premier. I hope Mrs Smith can surround herself with credible candidates who are largely devoid of ties to the PC hegemony.

Anonymous said...

With numbers like that, it seems likely the NDP are headed for another electoral wipeout. At best I'm guessing they might hold on to Notley's seat in Strathcona but even Dear Leader Mason could be in danger of losing his riding.

Brian Dell said...

With no offence to the Alberta Alliance, the current polling is because of Danielle Smith (and the fiscal/economic situation that reveals that prior to 2008 the PC govt was moving prosperity forward at the expense of the future), and Danielle Smith was in turn wooed and recruited by key player(s) hailing from the Wildrose Party side.

There's also the reality of chance coincidence. The timing of the Glenmore vote and the Wildrose leadership vote could not have been choreographed better. The media is not biased so much as prone to talk up narratives and the narrative became Wildrose rise and PC fall.

Anyway I think the Renew and Reboot crowd should take heart that they are about where the Wildrose Party was two and a half years ago. Take note, however, at the importance of the leader. Time and again I've seen a male address a group of Wildrosers who comes off as oblivious to the groups he might be alienating and then Danielle says a few things that sends the message to those groups that she knows exactly where the previous speaker may have mis-stepped. She has tremendous emotional intelligence. The only time she puts a foot wrong is when the old boys club in the party throw their weight around enough that she has to get more aggressive about a topic than she would naturally be inclined to be.

Anonymous said...

The more and more I look at Danielle Smith I'm shocked at some of the extreme people around her and the instability in the party (i.e. firing a chief of staff a couple of weeks into the job). This band of ideologues won't be getting my vote.

Brian Dell said...

Anon at 10:51:

The last Environics poll had the NDP down to 13% in Edmonton from 18% on Election Day 08 and yet they were projected to GAIN 2 seats, Beverly - Clareview and Calder, because even with a lower vote count, the PC vote is expected to be a lot lower yet and would flip those two from PC to NDP. This poll has the NDP at 12% in Edmonton, which suggests that Notley and Mason don't have much more to worry about than they did a month and a half ago, although in Calder and Beverly - Clareview the third place Liberals may be the leaders there now. I'd even say an outside chance for Wildrose but really Wildrosers in those areas are waiting to see what happens with the boundary redistricting before doing too much strategizing.

Anonymous said...

Brian, as intellectually superior as you make yourself out to be, don't you think that Danielle Smith wouldn't have joined the Wildrose/ Alberta Alliance if they had not had built up the street credit they built up over the last 7 years?

Urban Spork said...

So, let's look at trends from the last poll, taken during the WA honeymoon only a month ago. Wildrose Alliance is up 11. Liberals are up 5. PCs are down 9.

That's just nuts. I don't even know I can take this poll seriously. I'd sure love to see another one come out backing it up.

Brian Dell said...

Anon at noon sharp:

I meant the "no offence" part. Suggesting that the recruitment and installation of Danielle Smith was extremely important is not the same thing as dismissing the contribution of everyone who is not the leader.

But I'll admit I do feel we should be open to some turnover in mid-level management, which may rub some of the old guard the wrong way. Let me ask if it would not be a remarkable coincidence if the the party's mid-to-upper powers-that-be when the party had a small fraction of its current membership and was polling in the single digits (just a year ago) are the best people we could have in the much much bigger party of today. We have to make room for new talent and if the incumbents is going to entrench and get suspicious of new up-and-comers I don't that think that helps the party. The staffing situation can be dealt with objectively by rejecting the importance of loyalty to old friends in favour of an objective standard that takes the professional approach used in corporate hiring and promotion, etc.

Anonymous said...

If the Wildrose look anywhere near forming government come election time - and that's a big if - I can imagine a lot of centre-progressives voting Tory to prevent this from happening.

Further, the existence of another party to split the non-conservative vote (ie. Renew Alberta), I have to think, would only make this all the more likely.

Robert Gerard said...

Wildrose Alliance does not represent change -- certainly not from a progressive perspective.
Social Credit ruled Alberta from 1935 to 1974 by catering to the province’s right-wing, rural and religious voters.
In 1974, those voters felt their issues were being ignored. They dumped Social Credit under Premier Harry Strom and flocked to what at the time was the progressive Progressive Conservative Party under Peter Lougheed. As the party pandered to those same right-wing, rural and religious Albertans, the party became less progressive and more conservative until they became essentially a rebranded Social Credit.
Thirty-five years on, the same thing is happening. Premier Stelmach has treated his right-wing, rural and religious supporters like shit in favour of pandering to the interests of Big Oil and Big Health Insurance.
But don’t be fooled by the Wildrose Alliance. It’s the same group of right-wing, rural and religious voters who are looking for a new Messiah to favour with their votes. In time, they will morph into the Conservatives and then into Social Credit.
Don’t be surprised to see a bunch of current Conservative MLAs move over to join the Wildrose Alliance. They either transform into Wildrosers or face the prospect of returning to the real world and getting a real job.
Wildrose represents the status quo. With their global warming denials, their thinly-veiled anti-abortion stance, pro-private health care plans and pro-business perspectives, it’s not a welcome place to park a progressive vote. As the party develops policies to woo more right-wing, rural and religious votes away from the Conservatives, it will become less progressive and more conservative. In essence, exactly where we are today.
Having said that, it will be fun watching the Tories and Wildrosers eat each other’s young, jockeying for position to see who can court the most right-wing, rural and religious votes. That is, until they figure out that they are one and the same and that all this amounts to is yet another rebranding exercise, more pointless than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
La plus ca change . . .

Anonymous said...

Quick! Where's Tom Olsen!? Blame the media! Blame the media!

daveberta said...

Thanks to @taudette, here is the pdf breakdown of the poll/methodology:

Also, a more regional specific breakdown:


Wildrose Alliance: 38%,
Liberals: 30%
PC: 23%

NDP: 6%


Wildrose Alliance: 36%

Liberals: 26%

PCs: 25%

NDP: 12%

"Northern Alberta"
Wildrose Alliance: 39%

PC: 28%

Liberal: 18%

NDP: 11%

"Southern Alberta"
Wildrose Alliance: 46%

PC: 23%

Liberal: 23%

NDP: 5%

JJDH said...

Premier Danielle Smith
Leader of the Official Opposition David Swann
Leader of the Third Party Ed Stelmach
Leader of the Fourth Party Brian Mason

I can't decide which one sounds better.

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Anonymous said...

//It makes me wonder if David Swann and his party could have capitalized on this general discontent via a new and renamed party. I think that's why Danielle has done so well...offering something new, to shake off the political malaise.//

Right on.