Unite the right divides Albertans on social media despite new poll

"The math is pretty clear. Mathematically, 60 per cent of Albertans didn't vote for the NDP," said David Rutherford, spokesperson for the Alberta Prosperity Fund.

52% would vote for united right-wing party, shows online poll of 1,500

A self-described super PAC is pushing for interim PC leader Ric McIver, left, and Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean to join together. (CBC)

A new poll commissioned by a self-described Alberta super PAC that is pushing for a united right in the province says if the Wildrose and PCs merged, the new party would win the popular vote. 

The online poll of 1,500 eligible Alberta voters found 52 per cent of respondents would vote for a merged PC-Wildrose party if a provincial election were held today.

Without the merged party, the vote distribution would be 31 per cent for the Wildrose, 25 per cent for the NDP and 18 per cent for the PCs, according to the poll. 

"People are angry. They're upset with what happened on the fifth of May last year," said Dave Rutherford, spokesperson for the Alberta Prosperity Fund super PAC.

"If you split the common sense vote, you get the NDP," he said.

"The math is pretty clear. Mathematically, 60 per cent of Albertans didn't vote for the NDP," he told CBC's Alberta at Noon.

'The membership will drive the bus'

Rutherford said his organization is not offering a definitive prescription for unity under either the existing Wildrose or PC banner, but hopes that this will give current party leaders Brian Jean and Ric McIver an opportunity to begin the conversation.

"Grassroots members in each of the parties are way ahead of the leadership on this," Rutherford said.

"If this works out as we anticipate over the next few months, the membership will drive the bus on this and tell them what they want to do."

Meanwhile, a separate poll conducted by Angus Reid suggests that a faltering provincial economy and collapsing oil prices continue to take a toll on support for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

It found Notley's approval rating has slumped to 33 per cent, down 12 points from December and 20 points since June. 

Twitter reacts

Rutherford's comments drew quick criticism on social media, with some saying it would be disingenuous to merge the two parties unless their ideologies align.

Others attributed the NDP win to changing provincial circumstances and the NDP itself.

with files from The Canadian Press


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?