Viewers Pick Danielle Smith as Debate Winner

Smith Leads Redford by Wide Margin on Likeability and Ideas/Policies

Friday, April 13, 2012

Calgary, AB – An Ipsos Reid online poll taken immediately following the televised leaders’ debate shows that Albertans who watched the debate think Wildrose leader Danielle Smith was the night’s winner. Thirty-seven percent of debate viewers say that Smith won the debate, which is a 9 point lead over runner-up Alison Redford (28%). Raj Sherman (13%) and Brian Mason (10%) score well back of the other two leaders, while 13% were undecided.

Smith beat Redford by 6 points in Calgary (39% to 33%), but the two leaders were tied in Edmonton (27% each). Smith was chosen over Redford as the winner by a wide margin in the rest of Alberta (46% to 21%).

Smith won the night over Redford by a 12 point margin among men (39% to 27%) and by a smaller 6 point margin among women (34% to 28%).

Who Lost the Debate?

Debate viewers are most likely to say that either Alison Redford (31%) or Raj Sherman (27%) lost the debate. Far fewer select either Danielle Smith (16%) or Brian Mason (16%) as the loser. Ten percent are undecided.

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.

Best on the Attributes

Danielle Smith beat Alison Redford by a wide margin as the leader who was viewed as being most likeable and as having the best ideas and policies. Alison Redford was viewed as the leader who looks and sounds most like a Premier.

In terms of who “was the most likeable”, Smith (38%) beat Redford (16%) by 22 points. Redford finished behind Mason (22%), but ahead of Sherman (12%).

In terms of who “had the best ideas and policies”, Smith (39%) beat Redford (23%) by 16 points. Sherman (16%) and Mason (14%) are well back.

In terms of who “reflects my own values and priorities”, Smith (35%) beat Redford (25%) by 10 points. Mason is next best (17%), followed by Sherman (12%).

In terms of who “was the best speaker”, Smith (37%) beat Redford (27%) by 10 points. Mason is next best (17%), followed by Sherman (11%).

In terms of who “looked and sounded most like a Premier”, Redford (38%) beat Smith (30%) by 8 points. Mason is next best (14%), followed by Sherman (10%).

These are the results of an Ipsos Reid/Global TV/CORUS online survey of 538 Albertans who watched the April 12th Alberta Leaders’ Debate. Respondents were pre-recruited from Ipsos Reid’s online household panel to watch the debate and participate in the survey immediately afterwards. The data were statistically weighted to ensure that the sample characteristics reflect the actual Alberta voting population across variables such as age, sex, region and past voting behaviours. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±4.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error would be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Jamie Duncan
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs

About 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 600 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

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world’s third largest market research company. With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers 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 and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,363 billion ($1.897 billion U.S.) in 2011.

Visit to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

Viewers Pick Danielle Smith as Debate Winner


Jamie Duncan
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs