Friday, July 29, 2011

Wildrose plummets, Tories surge in Alberta

With Premier Ed Stelmach out of the way and a leadership contest stealing the spotlight, the Alberta Tories are dominating the polls once again.

And that means the Wildrose Party has been pushed aside in a dramatic change of fortunes for a party that had been challenging the PC stranglehold on the province since the end of 2009. 

In a new poll by Environics Research, the Progressive Conservatives stand at 54 per cent support in Alberta, enough to give them another huge majority government and extend the uninterrupted lifespan of their time in power, which began 40 years ago.

Wildrose placed second with 16 per cent support, down 10 points since Environics’s last poll conducted in January. The Tories, meanwhile, are up 16 points since then.

You can read the rest of the article on The Huffington Post website here.

Prior to this poll, I would have thought that the next leader of the Progressive Conservatives would take his or her time to solidify support before taking on the Wildrose Party. Now I'm wondering if we're going to have a sixth election in the fall. The next Tory leader might want a mandate of his or her own.

From a personal standpoint, I'd prefer if Alberta waited until 2012. As the schedule is shaping up right now, only Quebec is likely to have an election next year so there's plenty of room to squeeze in a second.

The monthly provincial poll chart in the right-hand column has been updated to include this Environics poll.


  1. The Tories are having a leadership race. Of course there's a polling bump.

    Given that the respondents' don't yet know who the next leader of the party will be, I'm not sure this poll has much value. A very large number of Albertans are members of the PC party, and each of them likely has a favourite. Once those favourites have been whittled down to one, then we can properly gauge whether the people are happy with the selection.

  2. Sure, but being so willing to dump Wildrose because the PCs are having a bright and shiny leadership race says something.

    And the fact that the same thing hasn't happened to the Liberals...

  3. Because the Liberals don't share a support base with the Tories. Tory voters would happily, I think, abandon the PCs if the PCs stopped embracing small-government or other things Albertan tories typically value.

    Ed Stelmach was a lot like Don Getty is his general mismanagement, but Ed had the misfortune to have the Wildrose standing ready to his right. Don Getty faced no threat from the right at all, so Getty was safe (until the early 1990s, when the Alberta Liberals actually moved to the right because the space was there (only to be stymied by Ralph Klein stealing their entire platform).

    While elected politicians tend to spend money to win favour with any and all interest groups, the majority of Albertans really do seem to hate that. And it's those Albertans who are moving back and forth between the PC and Wildrose camps.

  4. The Liberals have still lost a lot of support, a good deal of it seemingly going to the NDP.

    If a leadership race means an automatic bump in the polls, as your original post implied, the Liberals shouldn't have dropped as much as they did.

  5. There can be multiple factors at play with the Liberal numbers.

    They share a support base with the NDP.

    And the NDP have this huge halo effect from the federal victory happening all over the country.

    This will easily swamp the leadership bump for a dying party.

    Ira is right on this one I think.

  6. Just when I was starting to like the Wildrose.

  7. The Tories have ruled Alberta since before I was born. I wouldn't be at all surprised if many life-long Tory supporters, faced with a Tory government they didn't like, didn't really know what to do.

    I don't think that recent Liberal support was real.

  8. What do you mean? The Liberals have had 25% - 30% support in elections for a while now, and haven't moved all that much in the polls until recently.

  9. If the NDP, Liberal and Alberta parties endorsed some kind of merger between the three of them, while also attempting to bring in other elements (whatever remains of the Green Party and other smaller parties/independents), this seems like it could be a viable challenge in a future election. I could easily see this proposed party capturing most of the seats in Edmonton and Calgary if the PC/Wildrose margin is close. With only 40.5% turnout last time, a significant shift could be achieved by simply getting more people out to vote rather than convincing existing voters of other parties, which is usually pretty difficult with older people who vote the most often and nearly always for the same party they have always supported. After all the present Alberta Government is barely backed by one in five voters in the province, which is a whole other discussion.

  10. Hey great reading here
    I think the PC in Alberta will be a successful party, and I think that will also spread before into Ontario with Tim Hudak

  11. The Liberals, centrist Tories and Alberta Party could join to form a broad based centrist party if Ted Morton wins. More likely, it will either be Gary Mar (blue Tory) or Alison Redford (red Tory) who will be the next AB premier.
    The WRA are a pack of right wing nutjobs who are now being slowly exposed. What can you expect from folks backed by Byfield clan??


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