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Albertans frustrated with federal government but separation supporters in the minority: poll
CALGARY – Despite strong resentment for the federal government in the province, a new poll suggests Albertans aren’t quite ready to separate from the country.
That’s according to the latest numbers released Friday from ThinkHQ Public Affairs Inc.
In a survey of 1,236 Albertans from Oct. 4 to Oct. 7, 71 per cent of respondents said federal policies over the last several years have hurt their quality of life. In comparison, only 15 per cent believed the federal government has made life better.
If a provincial referendum on separation was held tomorrow, approximately 59 per cent of Albertans said they would vote for Alberta to remain in the country, while 23 per cent would cast a ballot in favour of separating and creating a new independent country. Another 17 per cent were undecided on that question.
The poll found that the majority of respondents in favour of separation were primarily defined as conservative voters, both provincially and federally.
Separatist intentions were less common in Edmonton and more common in central and northern Alberta, but no single region of the province had an overwhelming amount of support to leave.
Men aged 55 and over without a university education were also modestly more likely to favour separation.
ThinkHQ says it’s clear from the results that Albertans are more frustrated federalists than they are separatists. The organization suggests a re-elected Liberal government would likely stoke more negative impressions.
In contrast, the report suggested having a Conservative government in power may help ease the anxieties of Alberta, but only if it’s able to address growing concerns about the province’s place in the federation.
The report suggests that if feelings of separation continue to get stronger, there could be the development of a new federal party in the style of the reform party in the coming years.
ThinkHQ interviewed 1,236 Albertans for its poll, which has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 per cent