A new poll conducted by Pivotal Research shows a tight race between Alberta’s NDP and UCP in the Calgary census metropolitan area (CMA).
The poll, conducted online from May 8 to 11, asked eligible Calgary voters how they intend to vote in Alberta’s upcoming provincial general election. The survey also included questions about topical policy issues at the provincial level. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent could be categorized as decided voters.
... both [Rachel] Notley and Danielle Smith underperform on the stump.
CEO & President, Pivotal Research
In Calgary, NDP’s Lead Over UCP Too Close to Call
In Calgary and the surrounding area, Rachel Notley’s NDP was slightly ahead with 38 per cent support among eligible voters—a tight lead over Danielle Smith’s UCP, which showed 34 per cent support from Calgarians. Removing undecided voters from the calculation showed 46 per cent support for the NDP among decided voters in the province’s largest city, with the UCP right on their heels at 43 per cent decided voter support.
Cost of Living Remains a Top Priority
Pivotal Research also asked Calgarians which three issues matter most to them: the top three were cost of living (56 per cent), improving health care (51 per cent) and growing the economy (40 per cent).
Many key UCP issues were low priorities for Calgary voters. Standing up to the federal government was a priority to only 18 per cent of Calgarians, increasing natural resources extraction was a priority for 12 per cent and opposing vaccine mandates was a priority for seven per cent.
UCP for Economy; NDP for Healthcare
Calgarians were divided on which party they trust most to fix these issues. The UCP was considerably more trusted to manage inflation and grow the provincial economy, while the NDP were chosen as the party most trusted to improve healthcare by a substantially large margin (54 per cent for Notley’s NDP versus 23 per cent for Smith’s UCP).
“When it comes to the portfolio of managing the economy, it’s advantage UCP,” said Melhem. “However, issues concerning healthcare, education, and social welfare are matters where voters trust the NDP more.”
No Private Healthcare
Recent policy ideas were analyzed, too. Allowing the private delivery of healthcare was opposed by 53 per cent of those surveyed, and the creation of an Alberta Pension Plan was supported and opposed by near-equal proportions—about 40 per cent apiece.
YYC Arena Promise Not A Factor
The provincial government’s recent $330 million funding promise to build a new area in Calgary was viewed equal parts favourably (37%) and unfavourably (37%). Results suggest that support for the Calgary arena falls along partisan lines—decided UCP voters are leading the way with 48 per cent support, compared to 27 per cent of decided NDP voters. That metric is only 32 per cent for undecided voters.
“The Calgary arena is a split pile,” Melhem said. “It is not going to be a meaningful factor in this year’s election.”
Notley Most Intelligent, Compassionate and Trustworthy
The survey also asked Calgarians to rate the party leaders on several attributes including intelligence, compassion, and charisma. Notley showed a comfortable lead in almost all categories. According to the poll, Notley was viewed as more intelligent, compassionate and trustworthy.
“Rachel Notley over-indexes on intellect and compassion, even among those who intend to vote UCP,” said Pivotal Research CEO and President, Jihad Melhem. “However, both Notley and Danielle Smith underperform on the stump.”
Eligible voters are defined as Canadian citizens who are at least 18 years of age on Election Day.
Since the poll was a non-random online survey, a margin of error cannot be reported. If the data were collected randomly through a comparable probability-based sample, it would carry a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent, 19 times out of 20.