Thursday, December 15, 2011

Redford's approval ratings up

Unless Jean Charest jumps the gun, and he even has the option to wait until the end of 2013, the next province to go to the polls will be Alberta. Under new leader Alison Redford, the Progressive Conservatives will be launching the next election campaign sometime between March and May of next year. Though the PCs hold a comfortable lead, it should be an interesting race.

ThinkHQ Public Affairs is out with a new poll today for the Calgary Herald, unfortunately bereft of voting intentions numbers. But in the increasingly leader-led Canadian political landscape the approval ratings of the leaders of the four major Alberta parties is perhaps just as useful.
She's had the job for a few months now, so while Alison Redford's honeymoon with Alberta's voters might still be underway, she has been around long enough for most Albertans to form an opinion about her. And, so far, that opinion is good: she enjoys a 59% approval rating, which bodes well for her party's chances in the next election.

Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Party, has an approval rating of 40%. It isn't enough to compare with Redford, but it does look like Wildrose is on course to form the Official Opposition in the province.

Raj Sherman, leader of the Liberals, and Brian Mason, leader of the New Democrats, each have an approval rating of 31%. The two parties will be fighting it out for third spot unless Wildrose falters. The NDP seems to have a better concentration of support in Edmonton and so could come out on top and ahead of the Liberals in the spring.

In terms of the government's approval rating, Redford has bumped it up from 36% in September to 45%. She has also lowered its disapproval rating from 55% to 48%. Those are still negative net numbers, and Albertans seem to have a problem with the waste in the government's spending (an important theme for Smith), but Redford is certainly heading in the right direction.

The spring election may just coincide with the end of her honeymoon with the province, or it might carry on long enough to give her a mandate of her own. But there is still a lot up in the air - Wildrose led the PCs for a brief period two years ago and if Redford stumbles on the campaign trail Danielle Smith may be able to take advantage once again. And then there is the fate of the New Democrats, who seem to be on the upswing, and that of the Liberals, who seem to be on the decline. Though a PC victory is likely a safe bet in Alberta, the race will nevertheless have its charm.

6 comments:

  1. Interesting that the disapproval for Redford is highest in Calgary and the South. Presumably that translates to higher WR support there - but I wonder if the Liberals or NDP are making inroads as well?

    Even if the Alberta PCs win the next election it would be a bit embarrassing to lose Calgary to the opposition parties.

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  2. I read the interview with Premier Redford in Macleans. Albertans are in good hands.

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  3. I like Redford a lot too. She's got a really impressive resume...

    Eric, I don't suppose we can expect something on the latest Harris Decima poll tomorrow can we? :)

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  4. I just blows my mind that we can have the same party in power for 40 years.

    After the way she pushed through all that legislation and shut down debate, I'll never vote PC again.

    I've decide to vote WR, and it's disapointing to see the PCs polling so well. Also, I find it surprising, as when I talk to people (in rural Alberta) they seem more pro-WR and anti-PC. But, of course, the polls likely reflect the entire province, and not just my area.

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  5. Redford's decisions so far have, I think, played right into the Wildrose narrative. Redford cancelled standardised testing for grade 3 students (despite the Alberta Teachers' Federation being the only one in Canada that doesn't oppose the measurement of teacher performance). She's Don Getty all over again.

    Alberta doesn't need another Don Getty.

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