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How will changing fortunes in Alberta's political world affect BC?
  Apr 08, 2006

This is a segment survey of a larger ROBBINS poll with only these two questions reported herein. Some respondents were garnered outside the context of the large ‘original poll’. In this context this is a survey. The number of respondents in total is 425 conducted between April 1 and 6, 2006 throughout all parts of Alberta and in particular Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. This poll features a margin of error (considering these two questions only) of 5.75%, 18 times out of 20 @96% competency.

Question #1
Was the 55% support given to Premier Ralph Klein by the Progressive Conservative party delegates in a recent mandatory leadership review, fair and reasonable treatment of the leader of the province in your opinion?
Yes    33.5 %
No    66.5 %
Question #2
Which political party in the Province of Alberta do you currently support the most?
Progressive Conservative party    36.5 %
Liberal party    34.5 %
New Democratic party    14 %
Alberta Alliance party    13 %
Other    03 %
Two-thirds of Albertans do not believe the Progressive Conservative party delegates gave Premier Ralph Klein “fair and reasonable treatment” in a “recent mandatory leadership review.” (76%) of PC party supporters from Q#2 (38% more than PC party delegates vote outcome) did not approve of this leadership review outcome {“treatment”}. Similarly, (72%) of Alberta Alliance supporters did not approve (31% more than PC party delegates). (61%) of provincial New Democrats, and (57%) of Liberals did not approve. The number of Liberal party supporters in this survey mirrors the PC leadership vote outcome.
Is the provincial Liberal party’s ‘success’ a result of the ‘apparent’ anticipated shift of the Progressive Conservative’s to the left from a position of trenched ‘progressive conservative populism’, which Premier Klein embodied? Has this compelled absolute conservatives to move to the right with the Alberta Alliance for greater assurance, and is this move the start of something significant or a temporary place of safety for more right wing Albertans at this time? Who will younger disgruntled voter’s support when Alberta goes to the polls next?
PC support is down 20%, which reflects the incongruence between PC supporters/Alberta Alliance supporters’ sentiments and the PC delegates ‘support for Klein’ total.
Support for the Progressive Conservative Party in Alberta has plummeted following the recent leadership review of longtime Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, and subsequent announcement from Premier Klein that he will not stay as party leader for as long as he originally desired to.
All other parties have benefited from this decline most notably the Alberta Alliance party whose popularity has nearly doubled in this poll as compared to the most recent general provincial election in Alberta.
Ralph Klein’s recent announcement to leave office earlier than expected as a consequence of this mandatory leadership review outcome has sent the Progressive Conservative party numbers into a free fall. Party supporters are stunned and aghast. Many PC caucus members including Cabinet officials were seen crying and visibly hurt on the television following the stunning review result and Premier Klein’s subsequent decision to step aside.
Many respondents including those that did not support either the Progressive Conservative party or the Alberta Alliance party, thought Ralph Klein’s treatment at the hands of party delegates was “inconsiderate”, “unkind” and “thoughtless”. Albertans cannot believe how “ungrateful” some PC delegates and potential Klein successors can be.
News reports have strongly suggested that the low support from PC delegates was a result of inside maneuvering by leadership hopefuls eager for Premier Klein to step aside sooner rather than later. Soon after Premier Klein’s announcement, popular PM Stephen Harper made national news with comments reflecting his concerns about Alberta’s ‘attitude’ toward national health care. Now that he has announced that he is leaving, there is little Mr. Klein can do to impose his own will on the top Conservative in the province right now, Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
PC leadership hopefuls may intrinsically have control of the game, but it would appear from this survey that King Ralph still has the game ball.
If former federal Reform leader Preston Manning decides to run for the Progressive Conservative party will he announce soon enough to stop the downward fall of PC support, and if he is the correct political symbol now will he be in the future, with so many younger democrats flooding the Alberta labour market looking for work?
Is the historically conservative province of Alberta now headed for minority government or can the Liberal party of Alberta capitalize on the PC vulnerability and secure a majority next time around, something that few would ever have predicted possible.

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