Albertans Think Stelmach ”Has What It Takes”

Most (76%) Think Progressive Conservatives Made A Good Choice In Selecting Stelmach And Are Confident (78%) That Stelmach Will Be An Effective PremierFew (17%) Want To See Stelmach Make Major ChangesNew Leader Gives Progressive Conservatives Big Bounce In Voter Intentions – 68% Of Decided Voters Now Favour PCs

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Calgary, AB – A new Ipsos Reid poll finds new Premier Ed Stelmach getting a strong initial endorsement from most Albertans. Three-in-four (76%) Albertans think the Progressive Conservatives made a “good choice” in selecting Ed Stelmach as their new leader. A similar proportion of Albertans (78%) are “confident” that Stelmach has what it takes to be an effective Premier of Alberta.

The poll also reveals that Albertans are not looking for substantial change from an Ed Stelmach Government. Fewer than two-in-ten (17%) Albertans say they want to see Stelmach make “major changes” to how the province is governed.

In terms of voter support, the Progressive Conservatives have gotten a big bounce from their new leader. The Stelmach-led Progressive Conservatives are well out front with the support of 68% of decided voters – up a full 10 points from an Ipsos Reid survey taken in late October. The Kevin Taft-led Liberals are a distant second place at 18% (down 4 points), with Brian Mason and the New Democrats sitting at 6% (down 4 points).

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll fielded between December 13 and December 19, 2006, and is based on a randomly selected sample of 800 adult Albertans. Results based on a sample size of 800 are considered accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Albertan population been polled. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Alberta population according to the 2001 Census data.

Most (76%) Think Progressive Conservatives Made A Good Choice In Selecting Stelmach And Are Confident (78%) That Stelmach Will Be An Effective Premier

The race for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives and the 13th Premier of Alberta is now over, and Albertans think that Ed Stelmach is a good choice to replace Ralph Klein. Overall, three-quarters (76%) of Albertans think that the Progressive Conservatives made a “good choice” in selecting Ed Stelmach as their new leader (33% “very good”, 43% “somewhat good”). Only one-in-ten (10%) think Alberta PCs made a “poor choice” in selecting Stelmach (4% “very poor”, 6% “somewhat poor”).

Furthermore, Alberta’s newest Premier is off to a good start when it comes to Albertans’ confidence in his capabilities as a leader. Nearly eight-in-ten (78%) are “confident” that Stelmach “has what it takes to be an effective Premier of Alberta” (21% “very confident”, 56% “somewhat confident”). Only 15% of Albertans are “not very confident” (10%) or “not at all confident” (5%) that Stelmach has what it takes to be an effective Premier.

Few (17%) Want To See Stelmach Make Major Changes

With new leadership often comes new vision and change. However, when it comes to how much change Albertans want to see from an Ed Stelmach Government, Albertans say they are not looking for significant change. Fewer than two-in-ten (17%) Albertans say they want to see an Ed Stelmach Government make “major changes” to how the province is governed, whereas slightly more than one-half (53%) say they only want to see “moderate change”. Nearly three-in-ten (28%) want to see a Stelmach Government make “minor changes” (20%) or “no real changes” (8%) to how the province is governed today.

New Leader Gives Progressive Conservatives Big Bounce In Voter Intentions – 68% Of Decided Voters Now Favour PCs

Fully two-thirds (68%) of decided voters say they would vote for the Stelmach-led PCs if a provincial election were held tomorrow. This is an increase of 10 points from 58% support registered in Ipsos Reid polling in late October (fielded Oct 26th to 31st). The Liberals are a distant second choice at 18% (down 4 points), followed by the New Democrats at 6% (down 4 points). These results exclude the 16% of Albertans who are undecided or who have no party preference.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Kyle Braid
Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(604) 893-1605

Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 300 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

Ipsos
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2005, Ipsos generated global revenues of €717.8 million ($853.8 million U.S.).

Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.


Albertans Think Stelmach ”Has What It Takes”

Contact

Kyle Braid
Senior Vice President / Vice-Président Senior, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 778 373 5130
kyle.braid@ipsos.com