Majority of Edmontonians Want Harper Gone … But They May Get Him Anyway

Riding-by-riding poll conducted by major national polling firm paints grim picture for majority of Edmontonians who want a change of government


Edmonton – Polling conducted last week by a major research firm shows Stephen Harper’s candidates in Edmonton could win despite the fact that a majority of Edmontonians oppose them.

The telephone poll using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), commissioned by the Alberta Federation of Labour and conducted by Environics Research from Sept. 15-18, asked a variety of questions to a weighted sample of 500 or more residents of each riding.

“When we look at the second choice of voters, it is clear there is an “anyone-but-conservative” sentiment. Combined, the NDP and the Liberals represent most of the vote in Edmonton ridings. The vast majority of NDP supporters would rather elect a Liberal than a Conservative. And the vast majority of Liberal supporters would rather elect a New Democrat than a Conservative,” AFL acting president Siobhán Vipond said. “But despite this, we’re on track to see Conservatives winning almost every riding in the city outside of Edmonton Strathcona, which has a popular NDP incumbent, and Edmonton Griesbach, where polling shows NDP candidate Janis Irwin has a commanding lead.”

The electoral districts polled were swing ridings identified by the Alberta Federation of Labour. These included Edmonton Centre, Edmonton Manning, Edmonton Riverbend, Edmonton West, St. Albert -Edmonton. Outside of Edmonton, the AFL commissioned a poll of Lethbridge.

The results were the most striking in Edmonton Centre. In that riding, James Cumming of the CPC had the support of 39 per cent of the respondents, just four points ahead of the NDP’s Gil McGowan at 35 per cent. Liberal Randy Boissonnault is a distant third with 22 per cent.

“The majority of Edmontonians who don’t want to see Stephen Harper need to take a close look where they want to invest their votes, and who has the best shot at toppling the Conservatives,” Vipond said.

In all but one riding, the results of the poll show the NDP at higher levels of support in the ridings than they received during the last Federal election in 2011.

“During the last federal election, the New Democrats ended up with an election day result that was higher than most polls had predicted. And this shows they’re on track to climb even higher,” Vipond said.

A survey of this magnitude will yield results which can be considered accurate in each riding to within about plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“Results like this show the massive flaws in Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system,” Vipond said. “The problem isn’t just that our representatives are being elected by thirtysomething per cent of the population – the problem is that most of these Conservatives act like they are only answerable to thirtysomething per cent of the population.”

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Chris Gallaway, Director of Government Relations, Alberta Federation of Labour at 587.984.7569(cell) or via e-mail

Poll results available here.

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