Federal Conservative Party Remains Dominant in Alberta

Most residents say they would be “very upset” if the New Democrats or the Liberals form the government in Ottawa.

Calgary, AB – The governing Conservative Party maintains a sizeable lead in Alberta as voters ponder their options in this year’s Canadian federal election, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative provincial sample shows that, if the federal election were held today, 58% of decided voters in Alberta would vote for the Conservative candidate in their constituency. The New Democratic Party (NDP) is a distant second with 26%, followed by the Liberal Party with 12% and the Green Party with 3%.

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The Conservatives are the top choice for male and female voters (62% and 53% respectively), and among residents aged 35-to-54 (58%) and those over the age of 55 (66%). The NDP is ahead of the Tories among Albertan voters aged 18-to-34 (46% to 35%).

In Calgary, more than half of decided voters (56%) say they will support the Conservatives, along with 46% who reside in Edmonton and 69% who live in the rest of the province. The New Democrats have their best showing in Edmonton (32%).

Practically four-in-five decided voters in Alberta (78%) say they will not change their mind before the election, including 92% of those who intend to vote for the Conservatives in October.

Approval, Momentum and Best Prime Minister

The approval rating for Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper stands at 52% in Alberta. The numbers are significantly lower for Official Opposition and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair (34%), Green Party leader Elizabeth May (32%) and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau (28%).

May posts the best momentum score of all four main party leaders with +3 (15% of Albertans say their opinion of her has improved since the campaign began, while 12% say it has worsened), Mulcair is at -12, Trudeau is at -20 and Harper is at -24 (with 35% of residents saying their opinion of the incumbent prime minister has worsened).

When asked who would make the best Prime Minister of Canada, Harper is the clear leader with 44%, followed by Mulcair with 15%, Trudeau with 9% and May with 5%.

“The Conservatives are currently holding on to four-in-five of their voters from 2011, and these Albertans say they will stay with the party until they cast their ballot,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “While the prime minister’s momentum score may be a cause for concern, the indicators for his main rivals are weaker.”

Issues and the Contenders

More than half of Albertans (55%) regard the economy and jobs as the most important issue facing Canada, followed by government accountability (11%), health care (10%) and energy and pipelines (8%).

Prime Minister Harper is regarded as the candidate who is better suited to handle seven issues: energy and pipelines (52%), foreign affairs (47%), economy and jobs (46%), crime and public safety (45%), government accountability (34%), health care (33%), and housing, poverty and homelessness (31%). May has a slight edge on the environment (28%).

Harper is also the preferred leader to handle the fight against ISIS (49%), surveillance and Bill C-51 (35%), the future of the Senate (33%), child care (30%), helping Canada’s war veterans (also 30%) and the future of Canada Post (27%).

Across Alberta, 53% of residents believe it is time for a change of government in Canada. However, only 38% say they would be “very upset” if the Conservative Party is re-elected. In contrast, majorities of Albertans say a victory for the Liberals (58%) or New Democrats (54%) would make them “very upset.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has fifteen full-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 20 to August 24, 2015, among 509 adult Albertans. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.3 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: Tony Webster