Week 3 Polls
April 11, 2012 Leave a comment
Leger’s week three numbers show that the real battle is happening outside of Alberta’s two major cities. In Edmonton, the PCs continue to lose ground to the NDs, and the Wildrose, Liberals and Alberta Parties all remain the same level of support as in week one. In Calgary, both the PCs and Wildrose seem to be losing ground to the Liberals, with the NDs and Alberta Party remaining static. As I originally, said, the excitement is in rural Alberta, where the Wildrose and PCs battle back and forth and are currently in a dead heat.
This is good news for the NDP, and their growth in Edmonton could translate into seat gains at either the PCs’ or Liberals’ expense. Conversely, the Liberals have a tough fight on their hands in both cities. In Edmonton, they face the resurgent NDP and the Alberta Party, which will have a greater ‘spoiler effect’ for the Liberals than in Calgary. In Calgary, while the Liberals’ momentum will make them competitive in several ridings, they will have to ensure their vote is fully mobilized in order to run up the middle between the PCs and Wildrose.
Because the regional sample sizes are already small (they tend to have margin of errors of around five percent, as opposed to the provincial sample, which has a margin of error around three percent), the ‘rest of Alberta’ results cannot be further subdivided into northern, central and southern Alberta. However, it is likely that support outside of Calgary and Edmonton mirrors support within Calgary and Edmonton with the Wildrose being stronger in the south and the PCs being stronger in the north.
Why have the PCs rebounded? It could be that the PCs’ efforts to reach out to voters outside of the two smaller cities seem to be paying off. Or the issue of conscience right may have done real damage to the Wildrose. Or some disgruntled-but-not-quite-angry PC supporters decided to return to the mothership. My guess is no better than anyone else’s, but, given that many people do not start paying attention to the election until mid-way through the campaign, it may be the case that many voters who are traditionally Tory but are not overtly political have only just realized that the home team is in trouble.
The next chart looks at the parties that undecided voters are leaning towards. The percentage of respondents who are undecided has consistently been around 20 percent during the entire campaign. While that remains relatively constant, how that support is distributed has changed significantly. Take these numbers with a grain of salt, as the margin of error would be quite high, given how small the sub-sample of undecideds is. some trends can be seen. After experiencing some growth amongst undecided voters, the Wildrose has plateaued at around 18 percent. The PCs, after taking a nose dive between the first and second week, is now attracting potential supporters at the expense of the Liberals and New Democrats.
It goes without saying that these numbers will likely change after the leaders’ debate, which, given its timing within the campaign, will be a significant turning point or maybe even the deciding factor.