Friday, 13 April 2012

Alberta Election - Voters Declare Danielle Smith Debate Winner

According to an Ipsos poll, taken immediately after the debate, Danielle Smith was chosen as the winner by voters who watched the debate over her opponent Alison Redford.  While the two leader were tied in Edmonton at 27%, in Calgary Smith beat Redford by 6 points in Calgary, 39 to 33%.   Alberta wide Danielle Smith won by a wide margin 46 to 21%.  Combined Smith was chosen by  37% of debate viewers , which is a 9 point lead over runner-up Alison Redford with 28%.  Raj Sherman at 13% and Brian Mason at 10% score well back of the other two leaders, while 13% were undecided.

Smith was more popular among men, who said that she won by a margin of 39 to 27%, while women favoured the Wildrose leader 34 to 28%.  This result is interesting, since it was widely believed that Redford would have greater support from women.

To the question of who lost the debate, viewer chose Alison Redford at 31% and Raj Sherman at 27% most often.  Only 16% chose Danielle Smith or Brian Mason.

Danielle Smith entered the debate with a slight lead in the polls and it was really her debate to lose.  She held her own and appeared to have connected with viewers.  Brian Mason appeared to be honest in his approach to questions, while Redford started out confident, but appeared rattled after a view pointed attacks on her performance as Premier.

During the campaign Redford has flip flopped several times on issues like Members of the Legislative Assembly pay, including the flip flops or indecision on repayment of the bonus received by MLAs who sat on a "Do Nothing Committee".  The reaction of voters is no big surprise.  Redford came across like a UN bureaucrat, who likes to have committees make decisions for her, while Smith appeared decisive.  Smith obviously convince viewers that she is ready for the office of Premier.

"Changing Impressions
If the night is simply about changing impressions, then it could be argued that the NDP’s Brian Mason had the best debate. Four-in-ten (41%) viewers say their impression of Mason improved, compared to only 14% who say their impression worsened (NET = +27).
Next best is Danielle Smith with 40% improved impressions versus 30% worsened impressions (NET = +10).
The evening was essentially neutral for Raj Sherman, who had 35% improved impressions and 34% worsened impressions (NET +1).
Alison Redford was the only leader with more worsened impressions (39%) than improved impressions (24%), for a NET score of -15."  Read More Here

There are ten more days left before Albertans go to the pole.  For the firs time in 41 years Albertans have a choice and this election matters.  During the last election there was only a 40% voter turn out.  This should change.  What will Alison Redford promise next?

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