Alberta Votes Day 3: Time to bring back Ed?

In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for Alison Redford to call the election after a month of wall-to-wall scandal and controversy.

Two more polls have been released today – let’s start with the bad news for Alison Redford.

Leger Marketing confirms the statistical tie we saw in two polls Monday: PC 37%, WRP 34%, ALP 12%, NDP 11%. Keep in mind, Leger had the Tories leading by 37 points in January.

From the bad news, we move to the worse news. The Sun’s Forum poll shows the Wildrose Party leading by 10 points. The tendency when many polls comes out at once is to gravitate to the most salacious results – when the opposite is likely more appropriate. So, as shocking as these numbers are, we’re probably best to look at all four polls that have come out and conclude it’s a dead heat between the PCs and the Wildrosers, with the Liberals and NDP far, far behind.

Which is bad news for Alison Redford – especially if you share my opinion that Danielle Smith is the superior politician, and is likely to “outplay” Redford during the campaign. That’s already apparent from Monday’s ThinkHQ poll which shows Smith’s momentum score at +11 and Redford’s at -20.

The good news for the PCs – if there is any – is that there’s still plenty of time to counter punch. This is going to put a lot of scrutiny on Smith’s team and platform. The analogy I like to use is of Mario Dumont, back when Mario Dumont was still cool. The ADQ was nothing more than a one-man show, and once it looked like he might actually win in 2007, Jean Charest was able to use the prospect of an ADQ government to recover. So warning to fringe Wildrose candidates – start prepping for media calls!

The question, of course, is whether Alison Redford is as deft a politician as Jean Charest. On that question, I have my doubts.

In other polling news, the Alberta Liberals have released their internal numbers. It’s a long survey for a robo-poll so we need to look at the results with caution, but the vote numbers largely match what we’ve seen in the media, so we can likely take the numbers at face value.

Of course, the intent of the release is not to re-enforce bad horse race numbers, but to highlight the party’s platform which tested relatively well. On that score, there’s strong agreement with the ALP’s Health Care and education policies, and their revenue generation plans to increase taxes on the richest Albertans and largest corporations.

Now, the real test of a policy is not so much whether voters agree with it, but whether it moves votes – after all, the most “popular” policy tested is one giving more power to MLAs, but I’m skeptical that will motivate voters. And the results when it comes to moving votes are rather underwhelming – after hearing the entire platform, 36% of respondents are more likely to vote Liberal and 32% are less likely to.

And if all of that wasn’t enough polling data for you, Santos Sez has compiled the fascinating chart above of Alberta election polls over the past four years. Suffice to say, Redford’s recent polling numbers are downright Stelmachian. So much for that honeymoon.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in 2012 Alberta Election, Alberta Politics, Polls

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

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