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Liberal momentum pushes New Democrats to third place, but Stephen Harper is still seen as the best option for the top political job.

Calgary, AB – The Conservative Party remains the most popular option as Albertans prepare to cast their ballots in the Canadian federal election, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative provincial sample shows that 51% of decided voters in Alberta (-1 since September) would vote for the Conservative candidate in their riding. The Liberal Party is now in second place with 26% (+8), followed by the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 17% (-5), and the Green Party with 4% (-3).


The Conservatives remain the top choice for both male and female voters (55% and 49% respectively), and among residents aged 35-to-54 (52%) and those over the age of 55 (62%). The Liberals and New Democrats are tied for first place among Albertan voters aged 18-to-34 (32% each).

Across Alberta, 86% of decided voters say they will not change their mind before the election. The proportion of committed voters is highest among Conservatives (94%), and drops for New Democrats (81%), Liberals (79%) and Greens (72%).

Approval, Momentum and Best Prime Minister

Half of Albertans (50%, +1) approve of the performance of Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper. No other federal party leader gets a positive review from two-in-five residents: Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau stands at 36% (=), Green Party leader Elizabeth May at 35% (-1) and Official Opposition and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair at 33% (-6).

May holds the best momentum score in the final days of the campaign with +6, with all other party leaders in negative territory. Trudeau improved his standing since September (from -9 to -2), while Mulcair fell markedly (from -14 to -33). Harper is at -13, with a third of Albertans (34%) saying their opinion of him has worsened since the start of the campaign.

When asked who would make the best Prime Minister of Canada, Harper remains on top with 43% (+2). Trudeau is a distant second with 20% (+5), followed by Mulcair with 10% (-3) and May with 8% (+1).

Issues and the Contenders

Almost two thirds of Albertans (63%, +8) believe the economy and jobs is the most important issue facing Canada. Other concerns, such as government accountability (13%, +3) and health care (7%, =), rank far behind.

Practically half of Albertans regard Prime Minister Harper as the best candidate to handle energy and pipelines (50%), crime and public safety (49%), foreign affairs (47%) and the economy and jobs (47%). Harper is also ahead on managing health care (35%), government accountability (32%) and housing, poverty and homelessness (31%), while May maintains the edge on the environment (32%).

“Concerns about the economy have been more prevalent in Alberta than in any other region of Canada during this campaign,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “The Conservatives have firmly connected with their base and are still seen as the best party to handle this issue.”

The incumbent prime minister is also regarded as the best leader to tackle the fight against ISIS (47%), refugees (43%), the niqab (39%), surveillance and Bill C-51 (36%), child care (34%), the future of Canada Post (31%), the future of the Senate (28%) and helping Canada’s war veterans (27%). When asked who has the best policies related to marijuana, Harper and Trudeau are tied with 30%.

More than half of Albertans (53%, -2) believe it is time for a change of government in Canada—a sentiment expressed mostly by residents aged 18-34 (64%) and those living in Edmonton (61%).

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.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 15 to October 18, 2015, among 755 adult Albertans. 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 +/- 3.6 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Heather