Jean Seen as Better Option for United Conservative Party in Alberta

The former Wildrose Party leader outperforms Jason Kenney on favourability and in head-to-head electoral matchups against the governing New Democrats.

Calgary, AB – Albertans seem happy with the prospect of Brian Jean becoming leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP), a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 44% of Albertans say they have a favourable opinion of Jean, including 74% of those who voted for the Wildrose Party in the 2015 provincial election and 61% of those who supported the Progressive Conservatives.

The numbers are lower for fellow UCP leadership hopeful Jason Kenney. Only one third of Albertans (32%) have a favourable view of Kenney, including 55% of Wildrose voters and 54% of Progressive Conservative voters.

Jean is also viewed more favourably than Kenney by Albertans who voted for the governing New Democratic Party (NDP) in 2015 (26% for Jean and 11% for Kenney).

More than half of Albertans (52%) do not know who Jeff Callaway is, and more than two-in-five (43%) do not know who Doug Schweitzer is. The UCP will select its first full-time leader in October.

When asked how they would vote if the UCP were led by each one of the four leadership candidates, Jean is by far the best performer (35% of Albertans would vote for the UCP and 20% for the NDP). When undecided voters are removed, Jean would give the Conservatives a 24-point lead over the New Democrats (56% to 32%).

Kenney would also place the UCP ahead of the NDP, but with a smaller margin than Jean (30% for the Conservatives and 20% for the New Democrats, or a 16-point lead without undecided voters).

The leads are smaller for Schweitzer (23% for the UCP and 18% for the NDP) and Callaway (21% for the UCP and 18% for the NDP).

“At this early stage, Brian Jean appears to be successfully connecting with voters in Calgary and Edmonton,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “The former Wildrose leader is also perceived more favourably than any other leadership hopeful by women and residents aged 55 and over.”

Across the province, 38% of Albertans approve of the performance of Premier and NDP leader Rachel Notley (+1 since an Insights West poll conducted in December 2016), while 52% disapprove (-2).

The rating is lower for United Conservative Party interim leader Nathan Cooper (30%, with 42% undecided), Liberal Party leader David Khan (19%, with 52% undecided) and Alberta Party leader Greg Clark (22%, with 50% undecided).

The economy and jobs (56%, -14 since December) is still regarded as the most important issue facing Alberta, followed by health care (8%, +2), housing, poverty and homelessness (also 8%, +4) and energy and pipelines (7%, +1).

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from August 24 to August 27, 2017, among 704 adult residents of Alberta. 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 +/- 3.7 percentage points for the entire sample, nineteen times out of twenty. View the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

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