Public opinion poll puts PCs and Wildrose in tie
Michael Franklin, CTV Calgary
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2015 5:59AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 31, 2015 6:49PM MDT
A new poll, that was conducted days after the budget was released last week, shows the PCs and Wildrose in a dead heat and might make Premier Jim Prentice think twice about calling a spring election.
The survey, conducted by Alberta think tank Mainstreet Technologies, polled a group of just over 3,000 Albertans about their voting intentions and their thoughts about the budget, which was unveiled on March 26.
The group says that it’s just a matter of time before it’s clear that these results are genuine or merely a knee-jerk reaction after the budget.
“Time will tell if this reaction to the new tax measures will have a lasting eﬀect on public opinion or if it is just a temporary eﬀect. It is certainly a drastic change from where we saw public opinion just a few months ago”, said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Technologies, in a release. "Wildrose support seems to be enjoying a resurgence after many months, perhaps due in part to a honeymoon period after their leadership and backlash against the loss of their former leader Danielle Smith in a PC nomination."
The poll found the PCs and Wildrose tied at 24 percent, with the NDP and Liberals close behind at 15 and 14 percent respectively. Four percent of respondents preferred the Alberta Party and the remaining 20 percent of those were undecided.
The results also showed some interesting things about the budget, with 60 percent of respondents indicating they weren’t happy with the budget.
Nearly half of the people polled also disapproved of the new health premiums and the new fuel surcharge.
The Mainstreet poll says that Albertans wanted the government to do more to balance the budget, with 44 percent saying that raising corporate taxes was a better way to go.
Premier Prentice ruled out that possibility well before the budget was unveiled.
However, on Tuesday morning, Prentice said that he's focused on serving the province. "You know, I'll focus on doing the right thing for Alberta and for Albertans and not on polls. Clearly, this is a difficult budget."
Calgarians say they're shocked by the results of the poll. "I was very shocked in the support of the Wildrose, considering the party was in disarray with no leader," says Shaun Hanrhan. "And, maybe, it's 43 years with the P.C. party and maybe people have had enough."
Paul Deldegan says that while he's surprised about what transpired between the Wildrose and Danielle Smith, it might be so surprising because of the results of the budget announcement.
The full results of the poll are below: