UCP leads NDP by eight points in pre-election poll as Alberta’s advance voting surges
Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party entered the final weekend before Alberta’s provincial election with a comfortable eight-point lead over Rachel Notley’s New Democrats, according to a new poll conducted for The Globe and Mail, near the end of a divisive campaign that has largely focused on the province’s persistent economic problems.
If Mr. Kenney turns that lead into an election victory on Tuesday, Alberta would find itself almost immediately in conflict with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government and the provinces of British Columbia and Quebec over an array of issues including pipelines, carbon taxes, climate policy and equalization. Mr. Kenney has promised a combative posture with lawsuits and threats to cut off oil shipments to B.C.
Mr. Kenney and Ms. Notley spent the weekend campaigning in areas each party has identified as potential battlegrounds, with Mr. Kenney in Edmonton and Ms. Notley in Calgary, as strong turnout at advance polls shattered records. Mr. Kenney’s party was also forced to respond to revelations that the RCMP executed a search warrant at a UCP candidate’s business.
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The poll, conducted between Wednesday and Saturday by Nanos Research, found 44 per cent of decided or leaning respondents identified the United Conservative Party as their top choice, while 36 per cent said they would vote for the incumbent New Democrats; 16 per cent said they were undecided. The Alberta Party, which is seeking a breakthrough under the leadership of Stephen Mandel, a former Edmonton mayor, had the support of 12 per cent of respondents.
Pollster Nik Nanos said the poll results put Mr. Kenney on the path for victory, especially because the riding boundaries in Alberta tend to favour conservatives. He cautioned, however, that the poll numbers don’t translate to the number of seats each party could win.
“I would call it a comfortable lead,” said Mr. Nanos. “The current trajectory suggests a win [for Mr. Kenney].”
Mr. Nanos said the results show a generational and gender divide, with voters under 35 supporting the NDP and every other age group behind the UCP. While the UCP had a significant lead among men, women were about evenly split between the two parties.
Categorised in: Canadian News