What matters most to Albertans: Poll results set the stage for 2019 election

We're about a year from the next provincial election. What's on people's minds? What will motivate voters? Check out this special podcast.

Pollsters and pundits weigh in on this special CBC News podcast, as part of our Road Ahead project

Albertans from all walks of life were asked about their beliefs, their priorities and their feelings on the future of their province as part of a CBC: The Road Ahead poll. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC, Todd Korol/Reuters, Frank Gasparik, Trevor Wilson/CBC)

The provincial election is a year away and political parties are already preparing.

The United Conservative Party is meeting this weekend in Red Deer to debate its policy platform. Premier Rachel Notley and the NDP have dialled up the campaign rhetoric. And the Liberals and Alberta Party — both with new leaders — will be clamouring for attention over the next 12 months.

What factors — issues, leadership, partisanship — will get voters to the polls? How will carbon taxes, pipelines, debt and deficits, social values, fiscal values, hopes, dreams and fears motivate Albertans to cast their ballots?

We wanted to figure that out.

So, we partnered with Calgary pollster Janet Brown and data scientist John Santos to explore what matters most to Alberta voters. And we followed that up with a series of focus groups.

You conduct polls, as Brown is fond of saying, to find out what people think. But you conduct focus groups to figure out why people think they way they do.

There was a lot to process. Over the last couple of weeks, we've rolled out a series of stories based on what Albertans had to say. You can check them all out here:

In addition to all that, our own Rob Brown, host of CBC Calgary News at 6, sat down with the people involved in the construction of our political research to talk about the results. 

We also talked about things that didn't make it into our stories. So sit back and listen to their interpretation.

Political scientists Duane Bratt and Melanee Thomas join pollster Janet Brown, data scientist John Santos and the CBC's Brooks DeCillia to talk about their major polling project and what it means.

You'll hear political scientists Duane Bratt from Mount Royal University and Melanee Thomas of the University of Calgary, as well as Janet Brown and data scientist John Santos, who works with her, along with the CBC's Brooks DeCillia.

Podcast participants discuss the results of CBC News' survey of 1,200 Albertans. Back row, from left: Duane Bratt, Janet Brown, and Rob Brown. Front row, from left: Melanee Thomas, Brooks DeCillia and John Santos. (David Perlich/CBC)

The random survey of 1,200 Albertans was conducted using a hybrid method between March 13 to April 5, 2018, by Trend Research under the direction of Janet Brown Opinion Research. The sample is representative along regional, age, and gender factors. The margin of error is +/-2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. For subsets, the margin of error is larger.

The survey used a hybrid methodology that involved contacting survey respondents by telephone and giving them the option of completing the survey at that time, at another more convenient time, or receiving an email link and completing the survey online. Trend Research contacted people using a random list of numbers, comprised of half landlines and half cell phone numbers. Telephone numbers were dialled up to five times at five different times of day before another telephone number was added to the sample. The response rate among valid numbers (i.e. residential and personal) was 20.8 per cent.

Calgary: The Road Ahead is CBC Calgary's special focus on our city as we build the city we want — the city we need. It's the place for possibilities, a marketplace of ideas. Have an idea? Email us at:


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