New poll: UCP beats NDP among seniors, part-time workers, and the poor

Plus, Kenney comes out as the least impressive leader.

Earlier this week, a new poll commissioned by CBC Calgary found that the Alberta NDP could form government if an election were held today.

The poll, a joint project between Trend Research and Janet Brown
Opinion Research, found that among decided and leaning respondents, 40% would pick the NDP. The UCP, on the other hand, garnered only 33% support.

No other party saw above 10%. The Alberta Party saw 5% support, Wildrose Independence was at 4% and the Liberals were at only 3%. All other parties were only 1% or less.

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11% of respondents chose “unspecified”.

The NDP performed better among urban voters; women; people under 65; people with incomes above $60,000; people with a university degree or higher; people who work full-time, are in school, or are unemployed; and people who work in the public sector.

Urban vs. rural

Among big cities (which wasn’t defined), 45% of respondents would vote for the NDP, compared to 30% for the UCP. For Calgary and Edmonton specifically, it was 41% vs 34% and 50% vs. 26%, respectively.

The UCP led among small city voters and rural voters: 38% vs. 32% and 40% vs. 27%. Wildrose Independence was the only other party (outside of UCP and NDP) to hit double-digit support; they saw 10% support in small cities.

Rural support for the UCP was largest in the north, at 50%, which was twice the support the NDP had in that region. They saw 39% in the south and 31% in central rural Alberta; the NDP, by comparison were 6 points and 5 points, respectively, behind the UCP in those two regions.

Keep in mind that the UCP had 67% in rural Alberta in 2019, so even though they lead the NDP among this demographic, their 38% support is a huge drop. The NDP, on the other hand, has increased support among rural voters, going from 21% during the election to 32% now.


Women respondents overwhelmingly supported the NDP over the UCP: 45% compared to 29%. The two parties were tied among men, at 36% each (although the UCP technically had 4 more respondents choose them).


Regarding age cohorts, the NDP led in every group under 65, with the largest spread (18 points) among those 25 through 44 years old.

The NDP beat out the UCP 37% to 33% among those 18–24, 45% to 27% among those 25–44, and 39% to 31% among those 45–64.

The UCP led in only 1 age group: those 65 years old and older. They had 48% support among that cohort, compared to only 35% for the NDP.


The UCP also led the NDP among respondents who made under $60,000 a year: 37% compared to 34%. The NDP performed better with those making $60,000–120,000 (45% vs. 29%) and those making over $120,000 (43% vs. 31%).


Respondents whose highest attained education level is a high school diploma or less were more likely to vote UCP, compared to the NDP (44% vs. 23%). This was also the case among those with a college diploma or who’d completed at least some university, but the spread was much narrower (36% to 33%).

The NDP, on the other hand, saw greater support among university-educated respondents, including both undergrad and postgrad participants. They beat out the UCP 50% to 27% among the first group and 57% to 24% with the second.


As far as employment levels go, the NDP were the favoured party among respondents who were working full-time, were in school, or who were unemployed.

41% of those working full-time said they’d choose the NDP, compared to 28% who said they’d choose the UCP. It was the same 13-point spread for unemployed participants, but with slightly different numbers (42% vs. 29%). Students had the largest spread at nearly 30 points, with 53% choosing the NDP and 24% picking the UCP.

Part-time workers were more likely to choose the UCP (41%) than the NDP (34%). As were respondents who were retired; although their spread was quite narrow (43% to 41%), which I found interesting, given that the UCP saw a 13-point spread among respondents over 65. Perhaps a significant portion of those working part-time are over 65 years old.

Unsurprisingly, those who worked in the public sector were more likely to choose the NDP (54%) than the UCP (25%), and those in the private sector were the reverse, although just barely (36% vs. 35%).


Whether respondents had children was irrelevant, as the NDP beat out the UCP among respondents with and without children.

Notley vs Kenney

As far as the actual leaders go, Rachel Notley (leader of the NDP) was clearly the preferred leader.

Respondents were asked to rate the leaders on a scale of 0 through 10, with 0 meaning not at all impressed and 10 very impressed.

Notley performed worse than Kenney among voters who were not at all impressed with the leaders (19% vs 27%), but she performed better for those who were very impressed (6% vs. 1%). Noteley’s mean rating was 4.65, compared to Kenney’s 3.32.

Here’s how the ratings break down when grouped together:

0–3 (least impressed)36%53%
4–6 (somewhat impressed)27%29%
7–10 (most impressed)34%16%

This new poll builds on a recent story I wrote showing the NDP outperforming the UCP in 6 election polls. It also follow recent media coverage indicating that Jason Kenney—Alberta’s premier and the leader of the UCP—has threatened to hold an election if rogue backbenchers in his party broke COVID-19 restrictions.

If Kenney follows through on that threat and all these recent polls are accurate, the UCP could go down as the second political party to form a one-term government in decades (the other being the NDP).

Researchers surveyed a random sample of 1,200 people living in Alberta, initially reached out by phone (50% landline, 50% mobile). Then they either conducted the survey then, conducted it another time, or provided a link where the respondent could fill it out online.

The survey ran from 15 March 2021 until 10 April. The margin of error for results of the overall sample is ±2.8 points, 19 times out of 20.

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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.

4 replies on “New poll: UCP beats NDP among seniors, part-time workers, and the poor”

Hi Kim.
I am a Rural Senior. Most of my senior friends did NOT vote UCP, we are all staunch NDP supporters. We are appalled at the destruction of our wonderful province by this right wing criminal excuse for a government. I know the polls say seniors and the rural vote UCP, but in many cases this is NOT true. Remember that we grew up in the sixties, and have not totally lost our distrust of mainstream politics.

One thing to keep in mind is that the polls don’t say that 100% of seniors vote UCP. Every poll has said that only a portion of seniors vote UCP. In fact, as I pointed out in this article the UCP in this poll were only 2 percentage points away from the NDP among those 65 years old and older.

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