Friday, April 6, 2012

Ray of hope for PCs in Edmonton

Though Wildrose continues to widen its lead in both vote share and seats in the Alberta projection, there is some indication that the Progressive Conservatives are bouncing back in Edmonton. They are still hemorrhaging support in Calgary and the rest of Alberta, but has the bleeding stopped in the provincial capital?

The projection was updated yesterday afternoon, and since the projection of Apr. 4 Wildrose has picked up 0.5 points and is now projected to take 41.3% of the vote. The Tories have managed to hold relatively steady, gaining 0.1 point. If an election were held today, they would be projected to take 32.2% of the vote.

The Liberals are up 0.2 points to 12.2% while the New Democrats are down 0.9 points to 10.4%. The Alberta Party has dropped 0.3 points to 2.3% support.

The ranges are relatively narrow for Wildrose (39% to 43.5%) and the NDP (9.5% to 11.3%), but they have widened for the Tories (29.6% to 35.2%) and the Liberals (9.2% to 15.2%).

In terms of seats, Wildrose is up six from Apr. 4 to 58, while the Tories are down four to 24. The Liberals are down two to only one seat, while the New Democrats are unchanged at four seats.

The seat range has worsened significantly for the Liberals, who are now projected to win between zero and only three seats. The New Democrats are down one seat in their high range, to between two and six seats.
For Wildrose and the Progressive Conservatives, however, there is now a little bit of overlap where before there had been none. Wildrose could win as many as 73 seats - a massive landslide - or as few as 41, giving them a minority government, or perhaps the role of Official Opposition. The Tories range between 11 seats - a disaster - or 43, one short of a majority government. In other words, whereas the polls suggested there was no scenario where the PCs could pull out a victory earlier this week, there is a small glimmer of hope for the Tories at this stage.

The main reason is that they have made gains in the provincial capital. They have picked up 3.8 points and three seats, and are projected to have the support of 35.9% of Edmontonians. They would win 19 seats, or as many as 23 seats if their high projected result of 39.7% came to fruition. The Liberals have dropped three points to 15.7% and two seats to one, while Wildrose is down 1.5 points to 27.8% and one seat to five. The New Democrats have slipped by 0.3 points to 15.8%, though that now puts them in third in the city. The Alberta Party is up 0.6 points to 3.4%.

Since the campaign began, this is the first gain that the PCs have made in any region of the province. That is certainly good news for them, but they have continued to slide in Calgary (though that slide is beginning to slow). They are down 0.2 points to 30.4% in Calgary, and are now projected to win only one seat (but could win as many as eight). Wildrose is up 0.8 points to 45.4% and one seat to 26, while the Liberals are up 1.1 points to 13%. The New Democrats are up 0.5 points to 7.2%.

Rest of Alberta
The biggest shift has come outside of the two major cities. There, Wildrose is up a whopping 4.9 points to 51.6% of the vote. Their high range even puts them at 59% and 30 seats, though they are currently projected to win 27. That is a gain of six seats since Apr. 4. The Progressive Conservatives are down three points to 30.2% and are now projected to win four seats, a loss of six.

The New Democrats have slid by 4.3 points and are now projected to have the support of 7.6% of Albertans outside of Edmonton and Calgary, while the Liberals are up one point to 7%.

But this chart shows how Wildrose has really taken off in this part of the province since the campaign began. And unlike Edmonton (where Wildrose lost support) and Calgary (where their gains are slowing), the pace of gains for Danielle Smith's party in the rest of Alberta is increasing.

This puts her in a very good position. She stands a strong chance of sweeping, or virtually sweeping, the "rural" regions of the province. Her big lead in Calgary gives her a whole swathe of seats, and being able to capture even a handful of ridings in Edmonton ensures she can form a majority government. There is a lot of padding in Wildrose's numbers - they can take another hit in Edmonton as well as in Calgary and the rest of the province and still take some 50 seats.

But this sort of momentum is unsustainable, so we should expect Wildrose to plateau soon. It appears it may have already happened in Edmonton. Plateauing at this level of support would be no problem for the party, but the question remains whether there is going to be any bounce back after the first two weeks of dizzying increase. Maybe Edmonton is ahead of the curve and we'll see Wildrose drop down elsewhere, or perhaps the provincial capital is a political island. This race is far from over.

41 comments:

  1. "The Tories range between 11 seats - a disaster - or 43, the bare minimum for a majority government."

    There's 87 seats. 43 would be one short of a majority.

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  2. Used to work as a Consulant06 April, 2012 11:06

    In Edmonton the consultants must have told the government workers that the the Wildrose will likely ask the Public sector why the people of Alberta are paying top dollar for a public sector expertise but then bringing in high priced consultants to do any real work.

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  3. I suspect that in a week a lot of this is going to change substantially??

    Any bets ??

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  4. Small error here: " ... 43, the bare minimum for a majority government".

    In an 87-seat house, 44 would be the minimum for a majority.

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  5. Whoops, thanks. Mind cramp, there.

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  6. What we're seeing is an awakening of the public as to how ideological and extreme (see: conscience rights) Danielle Smith is. With another leader, they could win - but not with her. She doesn't sell.

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  7. Russ, I'm curious why you left out the Leger poll that put the NDP at 20% in Edmonton.

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  8. I remember the time I ran a 10k race. I used up all my energy at the beginning and had nothing left to give. I hadn't put in the training to sustain my lead in the race and eventually those with the experience were able to pass me.

    For the good of our wonderful province I am sure hoping Albertans understand this analogy. We live in the greatest jurisdiction in north America and while it is easy to understand why we might want to change our government we really need to be very careful of what we wish for.

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    1. Question.

      Which one is the change?

      Smith would probably be a continuation of the Klein type, Where as redford would be a continuation of the Stelmach side of the PC's.


      So which is the change you talk about? Smith happening? or Redford/Stelmach happening??

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  9. Peter I'm with you in hoping that it does change. However I think the only change we will see is more support for Wildrose. Albertans are not afraid of Wildrose the way Ontario voters might be. Politics are very different in the west.

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    Replies
    1. No. Politics is very different in Alberta.

      In BC a party like the WRA would be branded as nut jobs and be grouped with the lunatic fringe. Ditto for Manitoba. Even in Saskatchewan I think they would have trouble winning more than a dozen seats.

      Alberta is unique.

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  10. It seems Canadians are disengaged from politics. One would have thought that the raising of the age at which people can draw the old age pension might have provoked a reaction. Not yet in any event:

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Canadians%2Bindifferent%2Bfederal%2Bbudget%2BSurvey/6422317/story.html

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    1. If it was raised today.

      But it is raised in 11 years from now. not so much of a problem.

      And for the people who prefer fiscal prudence, and making sure the system is there in 20 years?? not a problem at all.

      ... 12,000 a year for 2 years (or 6,000 a year, I can't remember... I think it was 12k for 2 = $24,000)

      $24000.... In other words... One more year of work, even at minimum wage.... Freedom 56 instead of freedom 55.

      A travesty I tell you, a travesty! lol

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    2. I dunno about being disengaged. I'm 32 and can't see myself being retired at 65 anyway, so why would raising the age of OAS by two years bother me? Especially since the change might help the program remain viable so that I *CAN* use it when my time comes?

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    3. it'll matter to you when you're 65...

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    4. Like I said/calculated.... replaceable with 1 years salary at minimum wage.

      It might in the slimmest of circumstances matter.... but we have other social programs for disability.


      So will 1 more year of work (or 1/2) matter now that life expectancy has been moved on beyond late 60's????

      Only to those believing themselves so entitled as to work less than 1/2 their lifetime and be coddled the rest of it.

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    5. You call it "coddling"... we're talking about programmes that people have paid for... that's what taxes do for us. Or ought to.

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    6. point out to me people you know who put more in in taxes than they take out.

      If you get to 10 I'll find you a prize.


      The reality is you don't pay as much as you seem to think we do. And we take out way more.

      The program OAS was built in a time where the average Canadian lived to be less than 70. Today that is over 80.

      And yet you seem to think you are entitled to be paid for those extra years having done no more work than your parents (probably less since more people retire earlier now than they used to.)


      Over taxed. to pay for programs we can't afford, and should use sparingly when needed. Not to fund the lifestyle of royalty for the standard majority of people. Do your own work/saving/planning so that others don't have to coddle you.

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  11. The big wild card in all this still has to be the televised leaders debate next week: can Danielle verus Alison persuade any undecided voters? Will there be extra hot-button revelations between now and then?

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  12. Go Wildrose!
    40 years is Long Enough!
    Kick the Bums out!
    No more Tory Corruption!

    Wildrose Supporter (Former PC Supporter)

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  13. There's a reason we call it Redmonton.

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  14. Still wondering if Ontario goes back into an election. Budget vote must be held by April the 24th.

    Maybe Redford can take over for McGuinty. She seems more suited to Ontario politics.

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  15. Which seat are the Liberals expected to win? And what are Raj Sherman's chances of winning his seat?

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    1. Edmonton Centre, and Sherman's chances are alright. The current Liberal range in his riding is 19% to 32%, vs. 27% to 33% for the PC candidate.

      Full riding projections are, as always, available by clicking on the "Alberta Riding Projections" banner at the top of the page.

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    2. I'm sure this has been asked many times before, Eric, but how do you calculate the individual riding projections? I can't imagine that the data at that level has anything but a large margin of error, and it is very curious that as of right now, you don't have Redford winning her own seat. That would be pretty incredible.

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    3. Look for the "Seat Projection Methodology" link in the right hand column.

      Delete
  16. A few days ago Harris Decima and now Leger further confirm NDP/CPC statistical tie:

    http://www.canada.com/news/dead%2Bheat%2Bwith%2BConservatives/6423028/story.html

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    1. The 1 in 20 outlier08 April, 2012 10:39

      Really really old news.

      Harris Decima had then in a statsistical tie May 1,2011 ... Leger had them the CPC ahead by 5 36-31 April 28

      The really big poll on May 2,2011 with 0% margin of error 20 times out of 20 ended up CPC 40 - Ndp 31

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    2. Actually Elections Canada, and the courts in some cases, are still working out the May 2 margin of 'error' but it sure wasn't zero.

      And Harris/Decima certainly did NOT show a statistical tie on May 1. They had the Tories up by 6 points with a 3 point margin of error. Was your claim to the contrary a mistake or deliberate fabrication?

      http://www.harrisdecima.ca/news/releases/201105/1163-conservatives-lead-six

      Fast forward one year and six different polling firms now confirm a statistical tie, with remarkably consistent (thus far) in the national and regional numbers. A great deal has changed since last May -- in the parties, in popular opinion, and in polling methods. I suppose if you missed all of these changes and the subtleties that distinguish today's polls from last May's, then it all might seem more of the same...

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    3. Up by six with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 is a statistical tie actually. 36-3 = 33, 30 +3 = 33 (for example).

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    4. That's not technically correct, the term "statistically tied" doesn't apply when the gap is within the MOE. It just means the lead isn't statistically significant.

      Though, it is also not as simple as adding the MOEs together. Though that is a quick and easy calculation that is usually close enough, it is a bit more complicated than that. The MOE for the gap between these two particular parties in that particular poll was about 4.9 points. So, the lead was indeed statistically significant.

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  17. I think a lot can change in this situation. For one thing, depending on its results, Naheed Nenshi's citiesmatter.ca survey (which asks all party leaders on specific details on issues that are pressing to both Calgary and Edmonton) could end up having a far bigger impact on the polling numbers in both of the major cities. With the explosive population growth in both these cities, we could end up seeing a re-orientation of the province's political axis from Calgary and the Rest of Alberta vs. Edmonton (the accepted dynamic during the Klein years) to Calgary and Edmonton vs. the Rest of Alberta (something that appears to be gaining ground with a younger electorate). In other words, we may be in for an election that ultimately pits urban voters against rural voters.

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  18. Why don't any of these polls indicate what the undecided proportion is? Or how many Albertans are intending to vote? Remember that only 40% of Albertans voted in 2008.

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    1. Most polls so far have indicated the number of undecideds. The Campaign poll had undecideds at 21%, Forum at around 6%, Leger at around 22%.

      Polls on whether people intend to vote are unreliable. Some post-election polls will have 70% to 80% saying they voted, even if the turnout is 60% or less. I think that has more to do with the kind of people who respond to polls.

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  19. I will be really interested to see how voter turnout impacts this election, and whether it will be high as there is a perception that change is a possibility which might encourage people to vote.

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  20. "High" turnout for Alberta would be somewhere around 50 percent, which is horribly low, though better than the ~40 percent the last two times. I don't advocate that people should be forced to vote for any of these parties either, as they are always very similar once in power. Considering the fact that none of the parties will likely get above 40% of the votes and turnout will probably be below 50% that means 3 times the amount of voters didnt vote rather than vote for the governing party.

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    Replies
    1. And yet they could have.... either for or against.

      Abstention is a wonderful thing isn't it?? The results... always end up being the results.

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  21. Not voting is also a choice, overt or otherwise.

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  22. Dead Heat

    The poll, commissioned by the Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal, shows support for the Wildrose has dropped six percentage points in recent days in the wake of media reports on the party’s position on so-called social conscience issues and several major Tory platform announcements.

    Popular support among decided voters has the Wildrose at 35% compared to 34% for the Conservatives, setting up the possibility of a minority government, according to the Leger Marketing poll conducted over the Easter weekend.

    http://tinyurl.com/ccylcww

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    Replies
    1. Please don't post shortened links.

      Delete
    2. http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/10/alberta-wildrose-tories-in-dead-heat-in-race-to-lead-alberta-government-poll/

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