Alberta Politics: Evaluating the Campaign Promises

On Saturday, we released a report on what Albertans thought about the parties and party leaders.  The results came from an online survey we conducted from April 5 to 10 that interviewed 943 Albertans.

That survey also asked respondents about their opinion on some of the campaign promises released by the various parties.  The party making the promise was not identified in the question.

In this post, I detail some of the findings of that series of questions.

Overall, the most popular promises we tested was put forward by the NDP.  Over seven in ten Albertans supported creating a $5,000 interest-free loan program for Albertans who make eco-friendly home renovations.  Only 12% of respondents were opposed to the idea.

A majority of Albertans also supporting the Wildrose pledge to introduce a $2,000 tax deduction for each child under the age 18 (66%), the PC promise to create an interest-free loan program for seniors (58%), and the Wildrose Energy Dividend pledge (57%).  Only the Liberal promise of reducing tuition fees by $250 immediately and eliminating tuition by 2025 was not supported by a majority of respondents.

Ranking the Promises

Respondents were also asked to rank the top three favourite promises.  Overall, 32% ranked the Alberta Energy Dividend as their favourite promise, followed by the child tax deduction (18%), the seniors’ loan program (14%), and the $5,000 eco-loan program put forward by the NDP (12%).

Interestingly, although more respondents supported the NDP promise, when compared with the others, it was ranked relatively lower.

In total, 55% of respondents ranked the Alberta Energy Dividend in their top 2 promises while 33% ranked the Tory seniors’ loan program in their top two.

The Wildrose Energy Dividend

Perhaps one of the most controversial promises of the campaign, the Wildrose Party’s Energy Dividend pledge had wide support across a number of demographic and political groups.

For example, 45% of PC supporters and 50% of Liberal supporters said they support the policy whereas 78% of Wildrose supporters liked the pledge.

Of note, the most opposed to the idea were high income Albertans with 40% opposing the idea.  In contrast, support was strong among lower income respondents with middle income respondents ($50k to $75K) being most supportive (66% support).