Ipsos Public Affairs

November 08, 2006 08:00 ET

The Battle Of Alberta: The Conservative Party Leadership Race

One-Quarter (28%, up 2%), Of Albertans Think Jim Dinning Would Do The Best Job As The Next Premier

Attention: News Editor CALGARY/AB--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 8, 2006) - With the Alberta Tory leadership race now half-way through its grueling eight week schedule, a new Ipsos Reid/Calgary Herald poll shows that the field is beginning to transform. When it comes to who Albertans think would do the best job as the next Premier of Alberta, Jim Dinning places first, with 28% of Albertans believing he would do the best job. This is essentially unchanged (within the margin of error) from last August (26%). Lyle Oberg places second, with two-in-ten (18%) thinking that he would be the best replacement for Ralph Klein, a drop of three percentage-points from last August (21%). Ted Morton, Ed Stelmach, and Dave Hancock are all tied for third place with 6% believing they would do the best job as the next Premier. Mark Norris (3%), Gary McPherson (2%), and Victor Doerksen (1%) trail at the bottom of the list. Two-in-ten (19%) Albertans have not yet made up their minds who they think would make the best Premier of Alberta - more than those that support Oberg or Morton, Stelmach, and Hancock combined.

In terms of PC supporters however, the field changes dramatically, with more than one-third (36%) saying that Dinning would do the best job as Premier, twice the level of Oberg at 18%. Among PC supporters, Dinning has expanded from 35% to 36%. Morton and Stelmach remain well behind, each receiving 7%. Hancock (2%), Norris (2%), McPherson (2%), and Doerksen (2%) all trail well behind in terms of PC support. As with Albertans in general, many PC supporters (16%) have not yet made up their minds who they think would make the best Premier of Alberta.

Best Job As Premier

Q. Which of the following potential candidates for the leadership of the Progressive conservative party do you think would do the best job as the next Premier of Alberta? Would it be...?

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Dinning Also Frontrunner In Favourability Ratings Among Albertans And PC Voters

With the first ballot scheduled for November 25th, the race for Alberta's top job is now in full swing. When it comes to favourability, former provincial Finance Minister Jim Dinning is leading the pack with 56% of Albertans giving him a favourable rating. This is consistent from last August (54%) and this time last year (56%). In all, 15% give Dinning a "very favourable" rating, and 41% give a "somewhat favourable" rating. Lyle Oberg, the former Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, receives a 44% favourability rating overall, with 8% "very favourable" and 36% "somewhat favourable." This is down 4-points from August's favourability rating (48%) and the ratings he received this time last year (48%).

Former Minister of Advanced Education Dave Hancock's favourability (40%, with 5% "very favourable" and 35% "somewhat favourable"), has fallen 5-points from last August, and former Minister of Agriculture, Transportation, and International Relations, Ed Stelmach (39%, with 5% "very favourable" and 34% "somewhat favourable"), has risen 4-points in favourability. Current MLA Ted Morton (34% with 5% "very favourable" and 29% "somewhat favourable"), former Minster of Economic Development, Mark Norris (35%, with 3% "very favourable" and 32% "somewhat favourable") Gary McPherson (30%, with 1% "very favourable" and 28% "somewhat favourable"), and Victor Doerksen ( (28%, with 2% "very favourable" and 26% "somewhat favourable") all trail behind.

When it comes to PC supporters, however, the story changes. Although Dinning still sits well in front with 65% favourability (up 1-point from August), and Oberg again places second with 46% support ( down 4-points from August), Stelmach and Hancock are quickly closing the gap with Oberg, coming in with 44% (up 3-points from August) and 42% (down 3-points from August), respectively.

Impressions Of Leadership Candidates

Q. I'm going to read you the names of some potential candidates for the leadership for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party to replace Ralph Klein. I'd like to know if you have a favourable or unfavourable impression of each one. Would you say your impression of [INSERT] is very favourable, somewhat favourable, not very favourable or not at all favourable impression?

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Dinning Also Top Choice In Every Leadership Attribute Except Healthcare (Oberg and Dinning Tied)

When it comes to who they think would "provide the best overall vision for the province," Jim Dinning again scores the highest (28% of Albertans, 36% of PC supporters) with Oberg lagging well behind (18% of Albertans, 16% of PC supporters), giving Dinning a 20-point lead in terms of PC support. Of note, however, is the fact that many Albertans (30%) and PC supporters (24%) alike have not yet made up their minds who they think would provide the best overall vision for the province. When it comes to "managing Alberta's economic boom," Dinning demonstrates a wide lead (33% support overall and 39% PC support) over Oberg's 15% support from both Albertans and PC voters respectively, giving Dinning a 24-point lead over Oberg in terms of Tory support on this issue. When it comes to "dealing with the federal government," Dinning also pulls well ahead of the pack with support from one-in-three (29%) Albertans overall, and over one-third (36%) support from PC voters compared to Oberg's 16% overall and 15% PC support, giving Dinning a 21-point lead in terms of Tory support.

However, when it comes to "addressing healthcare," the gap closes: here Dinning receives 23% support from Albertans in general and 29% support from PC voters, essentially on par with Oberg who receives 23% support from Albertans overall and 24% support form PC voters. In terms of "handling rural issues" Dinning leads by a smaller margin, with 21% support overall and 27% from PC voters, compared to Oberg who shows 17% overall and 18% from PC voters. When asked who they think is the "most trustworthy," Dinning also maintains a slight lead, showing 24% overall and 31% for PC voters. Oberg on the other hand shows 17% support overall and 16% from PC supporters, giving Dinning a 15-point lead in terms overall trustworthiness.

Provincial Issues And Leadership

Q. Thinking about all eight of the candidates for the PC leadership, I would like you to tell me who you feel would do the best job in terms of […INSERT ITEM …]? Would that be ...

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