August 2, 2017 7:02 am
Updated: August 2, 2017 2:44 pm

New poll results suggest voters have more questions about Jason Kenney than others vying to lead Alberta’s United Conservatives

Alberta Conservative MP Jason Kenney speaks to media as he begins the Unite Alberta Truck Tour, in Edmonton in an August 1, 2016, file photo. A last-ditch attempt to get Kenney kicked out of the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership race has failed.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
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Early on in the campaign to become leader of Alberta’s new United Conservative Party (UCP), a new poll has found that Jason Kenney appears to generate more indecision amongst voters than other leadership candidates.

On Wednesday, the results of a recent Mainstreet/Postmedia poll were released. It looked at how the UCP’s leadership hopefuls would fare in a general election matchup. The survey asked respondents which party they would vote for depending on who was leading the UCP: Brian Jean, Jason Kenney, Derek Fildebrandt or Doug Schweitzer.

Jean, Kenney and Schweitzer have all launched their campaigns, but Fildebrandt has not. However, a number of political analysts have said they believe he may join the race.

LISTEN: Jason Kenney appears on the Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED

“Brian Jean leads the pack of hopefuls, although all the candidates we measured enjoyed majority support,” Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research, said in a news release.

READ MORE: UCP leadership candidate Brian Jean reveals platform

Watch below: On July 25, 2017, United Conservative Party leadership candidate Brain Jean announced his economic platform in Calgary. David Boushy filed this report.

Among decided or leaning voters, 59 per cent of respondents said they would vote for a Brian Jean-led UCP compared to 28 per cent for a Rachel Notley-led NDP. Fifty-six per cent of respondents said they would vote for a Jason Kenney-led UCP compared to 31 per cent for a Rachel Notley-led NDP. Fifty-four per cent of respondents said they would vote for a Derek Fildebrandt-led UCP compare to 30 per cent for a Rachel Notley-led NDP. Fifty-two per cent of respondents said they would vote for a Doug Schweitzer-led UCP compared to 31 per cent for a Rachel Notley-led NDP.

View some highlights from the results of the Mainstreet/Postmedia poll below:


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“I’m surprised at how close the numbers are across the board,” said Lori Williams, associate professor of policy studies at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. “There isn’t really much difference amongst them but the most interesting thing is that Jason Kenney seems to generate more indecision amongst voters – they aren’t as sure about him as they are about the other leaders – and that he seems to be more polarizing than the others.”

“In most cases the number of undecided voters go down (Jean, Fildebrandt, Schweitzer) but with Jason Kenney as leader, the number of undecided voters actually goes up,” Maggi said.

READ MORE: Calgary lawyer Doug Schweitzer will run to lead united Alberta party

The poll was conducted on July 27 and 28. On Tuesday, Kenney announced he won’t campaign with a policy platform until he has consulted with members of the new party. He did not say when that would be.

“There’s quite an interesting contrast here because he (Kenney) was very clear about what he stood for in terms of merging the two parties and he even was a little bit more forthcoming about policies when he was running for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party,” Williams said.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney won’t release policy platform before UCP vote in Alberta

Watch below: On July 29, 2017, UCP leadership hopeful Jason Kenney said the United Conservative Party is growing strong despite a few dozen members leaving the new party.

“His experience in politics… point to some controversial policy positions that he’s taken in the past. So this sort of uncertainty with his policy positions, combined with the fact he’s been associated with socially conservative policy positions in the past, might actually have the same kind of effect that it had historically with the Wildrose Party where people in Alberta were a little unwilling to go that far to the right on social conservative issues.”

On Tuesday, Mainstreet/Postmedia released survey results that suggested the UCP would likely form a majority government if an election were held today. Williams said despite that poll and Wednesday’s poll on the potential UCP leaders, the indecisiveness of the surveys’ respondents is important to note.

READ MORE: United Conservatives would win majority if Alberta election were held today: poll

Watch below: On Aug. 1, 2017, Lisa MacGregor filed this report about a new poll suggesting Alberta’s United Conservative Party would form a majority government if an election were held today.

“In this poll, we’re seeing a significant number of undecided voters and that I suppose is the silver lining in this cloud for the NDP,” she said. “Obviously, if the election were held today, the NDP would not form the government. That’s not good news for them but a lot can happen between now and when the election is called.”

LISTEN: Mainstreet Research president Quito Maggi appears on the Ryan Jespersen show on 630 CHED

The new leader of the UCP will be chosen on Oct. 28.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY: Mainstreet surveyed a random stratified sample of 2,100 Albertans from July 27-28, 2017 through Chimera IVR. Landline and Cell lines were included. Responses were weighted using demographic information to targets based on the 2016 Census. The margin of error for survey results is ± 2.14 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. For Edmonton specific results, the margin of error is ± 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. For Calgary specific results, the margin of error is ± 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. For Rest of Alberta specific results, the margin of error is ± 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Results may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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