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With Early Campaign Polls, the “Why” is More Interesting Than the “What”

Posted April 9th, 2015 in Alberta Election, Alberta Politics, CTV, Media Release, News by Marc Henry
Voice of Alberta

With any research project, in addition to measuring public “opinions” it is valuable to measure attitudes. These are deeper sentiments than just opinions about topics of the day. Attitudes, along with personal values, influence how people view and respond to issues, and form the motivations that drive behaviour.


The 2015 provincial election provides us with an interesting collection of competing, and in many cases conflicting, attitudes among voters.


Here are few examples from out pre-campaign poll.


Entitlement vs. Extremism

  • 72% of voters agree with the characterisation of the PC party as arrogant & elitist
    • Over 90% of those planning a vote for one of the opposition parties believe this, but even 29% of likely PC voters believe it
  • Equal proportions of Albertans (44%) believe that theWildrose and NDP are too extreme for them
    • A majority of PC, NDP and Liberal voters say WR is too extreme
    • Over 70% of WR & PC voters say the NDP are too extreme


43 Years of PC Baggage

  • Four decades is a lot of baggage for one party to carry around. 69% agree with the view that 43 years is too long and that it’s time for change in Alberta…BUT
  • 63% believe that Jim Prentice is doing a better job than Alison Redford as Premier. Is that enough change for most voters?


The Opposition & Capacity to Govern

  • 87% believe that Alberta needs to have a strong opposition to keep the government honest
    • Even 79% of likely PC voters agree with this sentiment
  • 71% of voters say they are unhappy about the WR floor-crossings
    • A whopping 91% of likely WR voters express this view, but so do 55% of likely PC voters
  • Albertans are evenly split on whether any of the opposition parties “actually has what it takes to run Alberta” – 42% think they don’t, 43% think they do. HOWEVER, there are sizable numbers of NDP and WR voters who appear to be leaning these parties AS OPPOSITION, NOT GOVERNMENT
    • One-fifth of voters planning to vote NDP don’t think any opposition party is capable of governing
    • One-third of likely WR voters doubt any opposition parties could govern


The Nature of the Campaign: Voters Don’t Like Party Alternatives

  • Voters have yet to catch “campaign fever”, and likely won’t. Will this drive low voter turnout? 61% agree that they “are not excited about voting for any of the provincial political parties right now”
    • Likely Liberal and WR voters are the least enthusiastic about the party choices
    • Most of the electorate hasn’t made any firm decisions. Only 18% of those interviewed strongly disagreed with the statement “I could easily change my mind about who to vote for”


There’s still a lot of campaign left to go. Voters are going to get to know the party leaders, their platforms and their candidates a lot better over the coming few weeks. That will help determine how they will vote on May 5th (or whether they vote at all), but underlying these views are some interesting, and often contradictory, sentiments.


Find the detailed poll results here: EOA Election Attitudinals April 9 2015




Marc Henry
ThinkHQ Public Affairs Inc.


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