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Alberta’s Provincial Campaign Begins – UCP Lead Holding

Posted March 20th, 2019 in Alberta Election, Alberta Politics, Media Release, News, Uncategorized by Marc Henry

As the provincial election writ drops, it is a two-horse race with the UCP holding a significant lead over the governing NDP according to a new ThinkHQ Public Affairs survey.  Province-wide the Conservatives capture 49% of the decided vote, with the NDP trailing at 38%, and the Alberta Party (8%) and Liberals (3%) well back. Currently one-in-five (22%) voters is undecided.


Notley’s New Democrats have an 18-point advantage over the UCP in the Edmonton region (52% vs. 34%) but trail the Conservatives by ~20 points in seat-rich Calgary (54% UCP vs. 33% NDP) and are a distant second-place in other parts of the province.


The gap between the two front-running parties has closed slightly over the past month – shrinking from a 14-percentage point lead for the UCP in early February to now an 11-percentage point advantage over the NDP.  Unfortunately for the New Democrats, their gains are in constituencies where they are already strong – i.e. Edmonton.


Voter enthusiasm also tilts towards the Conservatives. Nearly seven-in-ten (68%) likely UCP voters say they are “very enthusiastic” about the upcoming election, compared to 55% among likely NDP voters, 48% Alberta Party voters and 41% Liberal voters.


According to voters, the NDP record as government will be a hurdle for them during the campaign. Almost one-half (49%) of those interviewed say the Notley government has had a “negative influence” on their lives, compared to 28% who believe they are better off due to the efforts of the current government, and 23% who aren’t sure or perceive no real impact on their lives.


Commenting on the survey results and upcoming campaign, ThinkHQ President Marc Henry noted:


“Party vote intentions have been quite stable over the past 18 months or so, but the ‘phoney war’ stage is over now. There is considerable volatility and flexibility in the electorate. One-in-five are undecided and one-third of those who do have a preference are basing it not on positive affect toward a party, but dislike for the others.  This polling reflects how the parties are starting the election, not necessarily where they will end up 27 days from now.


Having said that, the NDP have a big challenge ahead. There is no doubt they benefitted from the Wildrose/PC vote-split in the last election, which is gone. This is particularly problematic for them in Calgary and region. There are 30 seats up for grabs, the NDP are tracking at their high-water mark from the 2015 election but yet still trail by 20 points. Math AND geography are hard.


Most voters are not in a particularly good mood right now and may not be in a forgiving mood with this government. When half the voters say a government is responsible for a negative influence on their lives, that’s a problem – it’s the most basic of ballot questions.”


Click here to view the full release and methodology: Eye on Alberta March 2019 Media Release



Marc Henry, President ThinkHQ Public Affairs, Inc.



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