Wow, that was some debate hey?
Rachel Notley and the NDP are surging ahead in the closing days of the campaign. They lead province-wide with an unprecedented (for the NDs anyway) 39% of the decided vote, followed by the Wildrose at 27%, the PCs with 20%, the Liberals (9%) and Alberta Party (4%).
The NDs are dominating Edmonton, and the surge is making them highly competitive throughout the province – areas where the NDP typically garner single digits.
Calgary is a three-way race with the NDs and Wildrose statistically tied and the PCs close behind. Elsewhere, it is a dead-heat between the NDP and the Wildrose, with the PCs trailing.
We’re currently down to only 13% undecided. Voter intentions are beginning to firm up, but there is still considerable volatility. One-quarter of those interviewed say they are less than 50% certain about which party’s candidate they will be voting for on May 5th.
Who Has the Momentum?
Rachel Notley and the NDP. 53% of Albertans are feeling “better” about Notley’s NDs compared to a week ago, while only 10% say “worse”, for a net momentum score of +43. NDP momentum is high across all regions in the province.
Brian Jean and the Wildrose have modestly negative momentum at this stage of the campaign (-8 net momentum).
Prentice and the PCs are clearly struggling and are quickly running out of runway. Only 7% say they feel “better” about the PCs this week vs. 44% saying “worse” for a net momentum score of -37. Prentice’s Tories are experiencing strong negative momentum across the province.
Fear & Loathing
How scary are the NDP and Wildrose to Alberta voters? Apparently not as scary as the prospect of another PC government.
We asked survey participants, thinking about Alberta’s future, how concerned would they be with different electoral outcomes. 68% of those interviewed said they would be very or somewhat concerned about Alberta’s future if the PCs were re-elected as government. Meanwhile, 58% would have concerns about a Wildrose government, and only 47% say they would have reservations if the NDP win the election.
With so many seats outside of Edmonton in play, there is no clear indication at this point of the ultimate outcome of the May 5th vote. The NDP clearly have the advantage with a solid base of support in Edmonton, but they could win every seat in the capital region and still not form a new government. That said, they are now highly competitive in the rest of the province, and an NDP minority is a strong possibility (potentially even a majority if their momentum continues through the weekend).
Wildrose support is eroding, but they are still very competitive outside of Edmonton. Their relative strength rests in rural ridings, but also is reasonably strong in small urban and suburban constituencies.
The PCs have the most difficult road ahead. At this stage, the probability of a majority seems highly unlikely, and even capturing a minority government would require a level of performance in the closing days that has been noticeably absent thus far. They are pressing against strong negative momentum, and cries of “stop the NDP” may fall on deaf ears at this point. The PCs have the benefit of a significant war chest – the air war & demon dialling over the weekend will be the political equivalent of Desert Storm – and they have traditionally had a very effective GOTV. They will be appealing to soft Wildrose and undecided voters that the NDP need to be stopped, but it seems the Wildrose may be just as effective at making the same pitch to soft PC voters.
Cinco de mayo is going to be very interesting this year. Here’s the link to the detailed survey findings: VOA April 2015 Election 2nd Wave
ThinkHQ Public Affairs, Inc.