Jason Kenney is Tanking in the Polls by Frustrating both Conservative and NDP Voters

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on April 15, 2021

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has put himself in a rather strange position. In his attempts to please the mainstream media news cycles around several issues he has gone for such a middle-of-the-road route on everything he has failed to make anyone happy, particularly his own party’s base. 

Recently Kenney’s premiership has become so bad in the eyes of Albertans not only is the Alberta NDP shooting up in the polls despite being the party tossed out of office unceremoniously in 2019, but now the little-known Wildrose Independence Party is up at 6 percent in the polls and gaining quickly.  A previous Mainstreet Research poll even put Wildrose all the way up at 10 percent.


It would seem easy to pin Kenney’s current unpopularity on his overbearing response to COVID-19 with draconian lockdowns, bankrupting small businesses, increasing unemployment, while not protecting seniors in care homes, but the issues are much bigger than just lockdowns.

From the beginning of Kenney’s time as premier, he had been supposedly focused on trying to get Alberta’s budget balanced and reduce provincial debt, but his quarter-strength approach that seeks to cut singular percentages of the budget each year and then wait several years for inflation to balance it was a blatantly poor plan from the beginning.

It is a good rule of thumb that if a politician doesn’t want to get messy when solving a problem in government then they probably were never planning, or never taking seriously, solving the problem in the first place.

(Photo from the Toronto Star)

(Photo from the Toronto Star)

Kenney’s middle-of-the-road approach to the provincial budget and debt only achieved to tick every Albertan off. By cutting only 2.5 percent in the budget in Alberta, Conservatives are annoyed because Kenney is taking the slow train to actually balancing a budget, and more NDP aligned unionized public workers see Kenney as an enemy because despite his cuts being quite small in scale because just the talk of cuts allows the NDP to fear-mongering about everyone potentially losing their jobs.

Kenney has handed the Alberta NDP an optics victory and he doesn’t even get to prove his fiscal prowess to his base in the United Conservative Party (UCP). There is no way Kenney is going to please the NDP voters by doing anything but massively increasing spending, so it makes one wonder why he is even trying to find a middle ground with them through half-hearted cuts?

If Kenney was serious about getting Alberta back on balanced budgets and reducing the debt significantly we would be seeing Ralph Klien or Jean Chrétien sized cuts.

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It’s this sort of half-hearted go-nowhere energy that was already getting under the skin of Albertans by the time the COVID pandemic rolled around, and again Kenney took the middle road position and upset everyone.

The NDP crowd will never be pleased unless Kenney enters endless lockdowns with severe fines for simply leaving the house for anything but groceries, and the Conservative voters who hold up the UCP don’t want to see business and people suffer under lockdowns for no provable benefit for reducing deaths from the virus.

So Kenney has chosen to not be severe enough to get the NDP voters on his side and has been too disruptive to the economy for Conservatives while other jurisdictions are thriving with reduced COVID-19 cases after having fully opened back up. No doubt the situation with Kenney unfairly harassing Grace Life Church definitely has also not helped his the UCP’s polling.


At this point, unless Premier Jason Kenney picks one side to play to, either his UCP base or union NDP’ers, he’s going to continue to flounder in no man’s land while the NDP and the brand new Wildrose Independence Party continues to eat into his polling numbers, although having faith in Kenney to do something maybe a poor plan at this point.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

2 responses to “Jason Kenney is Tanking in the Polls by Frustrating both Conservative and NDP Voters”

  1. Eric says:

    No Jobs, no economy, no pipelines. Promises trashed after Albertans gave him a 75 percent majority.
    Game over!

  2. John Clark says:

    The NDP brought this province to #1 in the GDP of all the provinces. No Conservative government has ever been able to do that mostly because they are too busy feeding the USA.