UCP drop 10 points in recent election poll

Only 17% of participants thought Jason Kenney would make the best premier.

Earlier this week, Canadian research firm Research Co. released the results of their most recent election poll. And it shows growing support for the Alberta NDP.

According to the survey results 45% of decided voters among the 600 adults who participated in the online representative poll said they planned to vote for the NDP if an election were held right now.

In their previous poll, conducted in December 2020, the NDP saw 43% support.

The bigger change was with the UCP, which dropped 10 percentage points, from 40% to 30% during the same period.

The NDP weren’t the only party seeing gains. Smaller parties were looking more favourable to voters, too. For example, the Wildrose Independence Party saw the largest increase in support, rising 6 points, from 2% to 8%.

The Alberta Liberals gained 3 points, from 2% to 5%, and the Green Party of Alberta increased from 2% to 3%.

The Alberta Party was the only other party to join the UCP ins losing support, declining from 9% to 7%.

When we look at how people voted in the 2019 election, of the 2 main parties, the UCP are losing the most support, with only 63% of their 2019 voters saying they plan to vote for them again.

The largest loss of UCP support is going to the NDP, with 15% of those who voted for the current governing party saying they planned to vote for NDP.

The next largest loss was 13% of previous UCP supporters saying they’d vote for the Wildrose Independence Party, and 5% hope to choose the Alberta Party.

By comparison, 94% of those who voted for NDP in 2019 still plan to vote NDP in this election.

Rachel Notley, leader of the NDP, saw the largest level of support among all the party leaders. Even then, it wasn’t very high, at only 36% of participants saying she’d make the best premier. That was less than the 38% of respondents who said they still weren’t sure.

Jason Kenney, on the other hand, saw only 17% of participants thinking he’d make the best premier.

All other party leaders reached only 3% or less.

As far as job performance goes, Notley, once again, outdid Kenney, with nearly half of participants (32% moderate and 17% strong) approving her performance. Kenney saw only 26% (20% moderate and 6% strong) support for his performance. Interestingly, the interim leader of the Alberta Liberal, John Roggeveen, was barely behind Kenney, at 22% total support (17% moderate and 5% strong).

All other party leaders scored under 20%.

Respondents thought that health care was the most important issue facing Alberta today, which shouldn’t be that surprising, given we’re still in the midst of a pandemic and are still seeing doctor shortages. Of those who participated in the poll, 30% said they felt that health care was the most important issue, followed closely by 29% for economy.

The next most important issue was government accountability, at a distant 13%.

Notley’s NDP outperformed the UCP in both big cities, according to this poll, with 39% vs 28% in Calgary and 43% vs 22% in Edmonton. Even in smaller centres and rural Alberta, they are statistically tied, 23% vs 24%, with a 4% margin of error.

One final thing. Respondents, when asked, were quite opposed to the implementation of a sales tax, one thing Alberta should consider doing to find a stable revenue stream.

Roughly 3 out of every 4 respondents opposed bringing in a sales tax. Of those, 57% were strongly opposed, and 15% were moderately opposed.

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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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