Federal NDP ahead of Liberals in Alberta

For the third week in a row, 1 in 4 Alberta voters would choose NDP if a federal election were held today.

Léger Marketing, a national polling firm, released a poll yesterday regarding various political issues in the country. One question it asked related to who respondents would vote for federally.

The question was, “If federal elections were held today, for which political party would you be most likely to vote?”

In Alberta, it should be no surprise to anyone that the Conservative Party—or what Léger called “Erin O’Toole’s Conservative Party of Canada”—received the most support.

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The Conservatives came in at 47% support among the 110 participants (141 weighted) in Alberta, the highest support the party received anywhere in the country. The next highest was in Saskatchewan, at 44%.

However, what people may not have expected was that it wasn’t the Liberals who were in second place among those Albertans who participated: it was the NDP.

According to the poll results, the federal NDP party saw support among 1 in 4 respondents, compared to the federal Liberals at 1 in 5. This isn’t the first time the polling firm has shown the NDP above the Liberals in Alberta.

Last month, a Léger poll found the NDP at 25%, but the Liberals only at 14% and the Conservatives at 53%. The fact that the NDP have continued at 25% over the last 2 weeks while the Liberals climbed to 21%, seems to indicate that their gain was at the expense of the Conservatives, who dropped 6 percentage points.

Here’s a chart showing the results of Léger’s (mostly) weekly polls on federal voter intention over the last 6 months, but specifically for those in Alberta

There are a few things I find interesting here.

First, the fact that the NDP are currently above the Liberals in this week’s poll may not mean anything. The NDP polled higher than the Liberals 3 other times in the last 6 months, but the Liberals always came back.

Second, although this is the second poll in a row to show the NDP above the Liberals, they had a similar 2-weeks-in-a-row back in July, which the Liberals overcame.

Third, even though this is a brief second-place finishing for the NDP, this is actually the 3rd week in a row where they’ve stayed relatively the same (24–25%). When the Liberals have moved in the last two weeks, it mirrored change in voter share among the Conservatives.

Fourth, this is only the second time in the last 6 months that the federal NDP saw at least 3 consecutive polling periods where they weren’t losing support in Alberta. The other was in July, when they increased support 3 weeks in a row (21% → 23% → 24%).

Finally, there was only one other Léger poll in the last 6 months when the NDP were higher than 25%. They’ve been at 25% both this week and in the poll published 17 November.

It is much too early to predict anything based on these numbers, but it will be interesting to see how things play out in future polls.

Keep in mind that this is just one poll. Ipsos, for example, released a poll recently that showed the NDP at 15% among decided voters and the Liberals at 22%. An Angus Reid poll from nearly a month ago showed the Liberals at 21% in Alberta and NDP at 15%. Abacus found a couple of weeks ago that 22% of their respondents supported the Liberals, compared to 18% for the NDP. Finally, a Mainstreet poll from last week had the NDP at just 9.9% in Alberta, with the Liberals at 19.3% among decided and leaning voters.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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