United Conservatives Extend Their Lead in Alberta

Opposition leader Jason Kenney has overtaken incumbent Rachel Notley as the “Best Premier” for the province.

Vancouver, BC [April 15, 2019] – The United Conservative Party (UCP) has extended its advantage in the final stages of the provincial campaign in Alberta, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 49% of decided voters in Alberta (+4 since a Research Co. poll completed in early April) would support the UCP candidate in their riding in tomorrow’s provincial ballot.

The governing New Democratic Party (NDP) is in second place with 39% (-1), followed by the Alberta Party with 9% (+3) and the Liberal Party with 2% (-1). Two per cent of decided voters would back other parties or candidates.

The level of undecided voters across Alberta has dropped from 22% in early April to 10% in this survey. In the rural areas of the province, only 9% of residents are currently undecided (compared to 27% earlier this month).

Among decided voters, the UCP holds sizeable advantages over the NDP in three distinct demographics: men (57% to 29%), Albertans aged 55 and over (59% to 33%) and those who do not reside in Calgary or Edmonton (60% to 29%).

The opposition UCP is also the top choice for Albertans aged 35-to-54 (46% to 41%) and Calgarians (48% to 37%).

Conversely, the NDP is ahead of the UCP among women (48% to 40%), Albertans aged 18-to-34 (47% to 38%) and those who live in Edmonton (46% to 40%). 

“The UCP is holding on to a large majority of voters who cast a ballot for either the Wildrose Party (77%) or the Progressive Conservatives (84%) in 2015,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The New Democrats are losing 14% of their voters in the last election to the UCP.”

On the “Best Premier” question, Jason Kenney of the UCP holds a three-point lead over incumbent Rachel Notley of the NDP (36% to 33%), with Stephen Mandel of the Alberta Party and David Khan of the Liberal Party in single digits (9% and 2% respectively).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from April 13 to April 15, 2019 among 602 Alberta adults, including 542 decided voters in the 2019 provincial election. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Alberta. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.0 percentage points for the entire sample and +/- 4.2 percentage points for the sample of decided voters, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

United Conservative Party Ahead in Alberta Campaign

Rachel Notley and Jason Kenney are tied when residents ponder who would make the “Best Premier” of the province.

Vancouver, BC [April 2, 2019] – The United Conservative Party (UCP) holds the upper hand as the provincial electoral campaign unfolds in Alberta, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 45% of decided voters in Alberta would cast a ballot for the UCP candidate in their riding in this month’s election. The governing New Democratic Party (NDP) is second with 40%, followed by the Alberta Party with 6% and the Liberal Party with 3%. Six per cent of decided voters would support other parties.

In the survey, 22% of Albertans are undecided on which party or candidate to support, including 27% of those who reside outside of the Calgary and Edmonton census metropolitan areas.

“The UCP is connecting well with male voters and Albertans aged 55 and over,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The NDP is more popular in Edmonton and with women and voters aged 18-to-34.”

Almost two-in-five decided voters (38%) concede they may change their mind and support another party’s candidate in the election.

When asked which party leader would make the “Best Premier” for the province, incumbent Rachel Notley of the NDP and challenger Jason Kenney of the UCP are tied with 32% each, followed by Stephen Mandel of the Alberta Party with 7% and David Khan of the Liberal Party with 5%.

Three-in-ten Albertans (30%) say their opinion of Notley has worsened since the start of the electoral campaign, while a larger proportion of residents (38%) now has a more negative view of Kenney.

Across the province, 45% of Albertans approve of the way Notley has performed her duties, while 46% disapprove. 

The approval rating is lower for Kenney (38%, with 47% disapproving), Mandel (30%, with 39% disapproving) and Khan (23%, with 46% disapproving).

When asked about specific issues, Albertans select Notley as the leader who is better suited to handle health care (38%), the environment (36%), child care (also 36%), education (also 36%), housing, poverty and homelessness (32%), and seniors care (31%).

Kenney is preferred for the economy (38%), job creation (also 38%), energy and pipelines (also 38%), managing the province’s finances (36%), and crime and public safety (32%). 

The two main leaders are practically even on managing government accountability and transportation projects.

The most important issue for Albertans, by far, is the economy and jobs (44%), followed by health care (14%), energy and pipelines (13%) and government accountability (9%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from March 29 to April 1, 2019, among 600 adults in Alberta. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Alberta. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.0 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Tough Road Ahead for Trudeau and Liberals in British Columbia

More than half of British Columbians think that a different party leader would fare better as Canada’s Prime Minister.

Vancouver, BC [March 26, 2019] – A majority of British Columbians are looking at options beyond Justin Trudeau as the federal election nears, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 53% of British Columbians believe that “a different party leader would do things better in Ottawa as Prime Minister than Justin Trudeau.”

Men are more likely to believe that a different leader would fare better as Canada’s head of government (56%, compared to 50% for women). 

One third (34%) of British Columbians who voted for the federal Liberal Party in the 2015 election also believe a different party leader would do things better in Ottawa than the incumbent.

“With a few months to go before the next federal campaign begins, animosity toward the current prime minister in British Columbia is strongest outside of Metro Vancouver,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Majorities of voters in the Fraser Valley (58%), Southern BC (57%) and Northern BC (55%) would prefer to have a different leader in charge.”

In addition, 50% of British Columbians think that “a different party would do things better in Ottawa as a government than the Liberals.” This group includes majorities of British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (54%) and 55 and over (51%), as well as one-in-four (25%) federal Liberal voters from 2015.

When asked if they expect the Liberal Party to form the government again after the next federal election, 38% of British Columbians believe that this will be the case, while 44% disagree.

More than half of British Columbians report being “very familiar” or “moderately familiar” with the policies and ideas of the Liberal Party (78%), the New Democratic Party (NDP) (72%), the Conservative Party (69%) and the Green Party (59%).

Only 16% of British Columbians are “very familiar” or “moderately familiar” with the policies and ideas of the People’s Party, while three-in-four (75%) say they are “not too familiar” or “not familiar at all” with them.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from March 8 to March 10, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Confusion Influenced Referendum Voters in British Columbia

Almost half of those who did not vote in the referendum say they did not feel informed about the issue.

Vancouver, BC [December 14, 2018] – A majority of British Columbians say confusion with the options offered in the Referendum on Electoral Reform influenced their final choice, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 49% of residents say they voted to keep the First Past the Post system for provincial elections, while 31% voted in favour of Proportional Representation and 20% did not cast their ballot.

Almost half of British Columbians who did not vote in the referendum (48%) say they did not feel informed enough to vote.

“Almost half of non-voters felt uninformed about the task at hand, even with a ballot that arrived at their home,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Among those who voted, support for the status quo was decidedly higher among older voters, while younger voters favoured a move to proportional representation.”

Across the province, 90% of voters say they are “very confident” or “moderately confident” in their selection on the referendum.

More than a third of voters (35%) say they did not vote in the second question—a proportion that reaches 53% among those who supported the First Past the Post system.

When asked about issues that influenced the way they voted, majorities of British Columbians mention the details of the three options on the second question not being fully fleshed out (59%), the three options listed on the second question being confusing and not clearly explained (55%), the notion of smaller parties holding the balance of power (55%), MLAs being appointed from party lists (53%) and coalition deals being worked out “in the back room” (50%).

In addition, 49% of respondents were concerned over fringe or extremist parties winning seats, urban centres having disproportionate influence over future governments, and the details of the chosen proportional representation option being left to an all-party committee.

Slightly smaller proportions of voters were influenced by the notion that voters from rural areas might lose local representation (45%) or the government possibly rigging the process for partisan gain (41%).

Almost four-in-five British Columbians (78%) agree that politicians are in a conflict of interest when it comes to making decisions about how we vote, and would like any future proposals to involve an independent, non-partisan citizens’ body. This includes 77% of those who voted for Proportional Representation and 82% of those who voted to keep the First Past the Post system.

British Columbians were also asked about possible actions in the event the First Past the Post system was retained after the referendum. A majority (55%) agrees with setting up an independent, non-partisan process to reflect on the results of this vote and recommend what British Columbia should do next, but 52% also think that no further steps should be taken at this time aimed at changing our electoral system.

Just over two-in-five British Columbians (44%) would like to set up a Citizens’ Assembly after the next election and any resulting recommendations for change to be voted on in the legislature.

British Columbians were also asked to imagine a scenario where an arms-length review panel recommended that British Columbia hold another referendum on electoral reform at the time of the next election with guarantees addressing the major concerns that arose in the recent referendum.

The ballot question would be: “British Columbia is proposing to elect our MLAs by Proportional Representation. This means that the MLAs elected in each region would accurately reflect the diversity of political views in each region. The number of MLAs in each region of BC would stay the same and voters would vote for individual candidates, not for party lists. There would be a moderate threshold to encourage parties to have broad policy platforms. If voters endorse Proportional Representation, an independent citizens’ panel with representatives from around the province would deliberate on and recommend a final system that would be voted on in the legislature in a free vote. If accepted, there would be a confirmation referendum after we have used the new system at least twice.”

If they were asked to vote on this question, 41% of respondents would select Proportional Representation, while 36% would cas a ballot to keep First Past the Post.

More than two thirds of British Columbians believe voters should be able to vote for their top candidate without worrying about ‘splitting the vote” (75%), that a party should only win majority power if its candidates won a majority of the votes (70%), and that the voting system should not disadvantage independent candidates (70%).

Majorities of British Columbians also endorse other concepts, such as almost all votes helping elect an MLA (64%), a party not holding majority power if its candidates won fewer than 40% of the votes (63%), voters being able to choose among different candidates from their preferred party (58%), MLAs being elected from different parties in close proportion to how voters voted in each region voted (57%), and voters being able to make their vote count for a more popular candidate rather than having it ignored (52%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 18 to December 20, 2018, among 803 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

British Columbians Want Referendum Outcome to Be Respected

Supporters of all three major provincial parties in the province believe the will of voters should stand.

Vancouver, BC [December 14, 2018] – As British Columbians await the results of the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform, most residents believe the results of the democratic process should be respected, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 73% of British Columbians think the provincial government should honour the results of referendum, regardless of the final voter turnout.

The Referendum on Electoral Reform was a mail-in ballot. A voting package was mailed to British Columbians between October 22 and November 2. The results of the referendum are expected to be announced before the end of the year.

Majorities of residents who voted to keep the current First Past the Post system for provincial elections (74%) or to move to a proportional representation system (71%) believe the result of the referendum should be respected.

Most British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (75%), the BC Liberals (71%) and the BC Greens (66%) in last year’s provincial election think the outcome of the referendum should stand, regardless of how many voters participated.

When asked how they voted in the democratic process, equal proportions of residents (38%) say they chose to keep the current First Past the Post system or to adopt a proportional representation system.

Almost one-in-four respondents (24%) say they did not vote in the referendum—including 27% of women, 27% of those aged 18-to-34, and 29% of Fraser Valley residents.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 11 to December 13, 2018, among 801 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca