Albertans Expect Negative Effect from Budget on Households, Cities

PR Image - Legislature Night by Kurt Bauschardt

Most residents believe the province should avoid holding an early provincial election this year.

Calgary, AB – Albertans are deeply distraught by the latest provincial budget, with a majority believing the government’s actions were unjustified, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 28% of Albertans say they followed the most recent provincial budget “very closely”, while 45% acknowledge following it “somewhat closely.”

Only 6% of Albertans give the budget high grades (from 8 to10), with one third (33%) offering a moderate rating (from 5 to 7) and a majority (53%) providing a poor rating (from 1 to 4).

When asked about the impact of the budget, most Albertans expect it to be negative on their household (78%), their municipality (61%, including 64% in Calgary) and the province as a whole (60%).

Just over a third of Albertans (35%) believe the government’s actions on the budget are justified due to the collapse of oil prices, while a majority (59%) disagrees. Albertans aged 18 to 34 (68%) and residents of Edmonton (66%) are more likely to think the government’s actions were unwarranted.

More than half of Albertans (53%) believe the province should “probably” or “definitely” avoid having an early election this year—including majorities of residents who voted for the Progressive Conservatives (52%) and the Wildrose Party (58%) in 2012.

Politics

If an election were held tomorrow, 31% of decided voters (-11 since the last Insights West poll conducted in December) would vote for the governing Progressive Conservatives. The Wildrose Party is a close second with 27% (+13), followed by the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 22% (+4), the Liberal Party with 14% (-5) and the Alberta Party with 2%.

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The Progressive Conservatives are ahead among voters aged 55 and over (33%), while the Wildrose Party is more popular with those aged 35 to 54 (29%) and the NDP is ahead among those aged 18 to 34 (39%).

In Calgary, the Progressive Conservatives are first with 36%, while the NDP is the top choice for Edmontonians (31%).

The most important issue facing the province is the economy and jobs (46%, +22 since December 2014), followed by health care (20%, -3) and accountability (17%, +5).

The approval rating for Premier and Progressive Conservative leader Jim Prentice dropped to 29% (-23), with 60% of residents (+33) saying they disapprove of his performance.

The highest rated party leader in the province is the NDP’s Rachel Notley (41%, +9), followed by outgoing interim Wildrose Party leader Heather Forsyth (38%).

Three-in-ten Albertans (30%) approve of the way interim Liberal Party leader David Swann is handling his duties, and three-in-five (61%) are not familiar with Alberta Party leader Greg Clark.

“There is extraordinary volatility in Alberta’s political scene, as expected after a budget of the magnitude of the one tabled by the current government,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “The fascinating aspect at this stage is that Albertans are not keen to have a vote this year, but the three main parties are definitely connecting well with three different age demographics.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has fifteen full-time employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from March 27 to March 30, 2015, among 602 Albertans who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. 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 +/- 3.9 percentage points for Alberta, nineteen times out of twenty. Click to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: Kurt Bauschardt