Wildrose supporters like Kenney, but still prefer Jean: Poll

By: Metro

Failure to merge Canada’s right-of-centre parties could split vote in NDP’s favour

Jason Kenney may have caught the eye of Wildrose supporters, but those same voters may be more loyal to current leader Brian Jean than he anticipates, according to a ThinkHQ/Metro Poll.

The poll of 1,221 Canadans looked at Kenney’s approval ratings when compared with other possible PC leadership contenders.

It also broke down his approval by party support. Those who said they intended to vote Wildrose gave Kenney a 64 per cent approval rating. By comparison, those who said they intended to vote PC gave him a 60 per cent approval.

In other words, declared Wildrose supporters like Kenney more than declared PC supporters.

And yet, ThinkHQ President Marc Henry asked poll participants to take part in a mock ballot. The ballot assumed no merger between the Wildrose and the PCs.

Participants were given the choice between a PC Party led by Kenney, a Wildrose Party led by Brian Jean, and the three other parties with their current leaders.

The results had the NDP still winning the election with 32 per cent of the vote, while Wildrose and PCs came second and third respectively with 22 and 21 per cent of the vote.

“So you go from a situation from where the Wildrose is winning now, by about six points, to where Jason Kenney takes about 20 per cent of their vote. It actually benefits the NDP,” said Henry. “The whole notion of a merger is not a slam dunk when you’ve got 75 per cent of Wildrose voters saying, ‘I’d rather vote for Brian Jean.’”

The mock ballot results surprised Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams

“I would’ve thought Wildrose supporters would be more likely to support Jason Kenney than others, but here we’re talking about current Wildrose members preferring Brian Jean over Jason Kenney,” she said.

While Kenney had a 64 per cent approval rating among Wildrose supporters, Brian Jean had a 90 per cent approval rating among the same group in another recent poll.

For Williams, the results raise questions about the feasibility and mechanics of a Wildrose-PC merger

“If Brian Jean is in the running, he’s more likely to hang on to the Wildrose support than Jason Kenney is,” she said.

This online survey utilizes a representative but non-random sample, therefore margin of error is not applicable. However, a probability sample of this size 
would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points at a 95 per cent confidence interval.

To Join the Voice of Canada Panel, visit voiceofalberta.com.


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