Sunday, May 3, 2015

NDP tops polls both in Calgary and Edmonton and rest of Alberta

A split among conservative voters and anger against the ruling Progressive Conservatives(PC) may lead to the New Democratic Party(NDP) winning the upcoming Alberta provincial election.
The Alberta NDP has surged in one of the final polls of election 2015. In the Edmonton Sun polling company Mainstreet Technologies said that the "only possible outcome" of the vote is the "coronation of an NDP government." That prediction seems very premature. Last election the polls predicted the Wild Rose party, a breakaway group on the right, dissatisfied with the ruling Progressive Conservatives would definitely win the election. The Conservatives ended up winning. To add insult to injury the Wild Rose Party leader defected to the Conservatives along with a number of other elected representatives. One might think that this would spell the end of the Wild Rose Party but it hasn't. An Ipsos Poll a week before the election shows that 37 percent of decided voters would vote NDP with 26 percent for the Wild Rose and 24 percent for the Progressive Conservatives.
In ordinary circumstances one might expect that with a combined conservative vote of 50 percent, the Wild Rose Party voters would opt to vote Conservative. However, the Wild Rose supporters obviously are quite angry at the ruling Conservatives. Mainstream Technologies' president, Quito Maggi, notes that polling shows 75 percent of Albertans want a change in government. He said the relatively new but quite popular leader of the NDP Rachel Notlley showed in the debates that she was a viable alternative. Rachel is the daughter of former Alberta NDP leader Grant Notley. However, support for the same party does not always run through the family. Former Conservaitve premier Ralph Klein's daughter, Angie, has come out in support of the NDP. However, Angie said she had supported the NDP before and even when her dad was premier! Maggi's polling shows Wild Rose voters overwhelmingly put the NDP as their second choice rather than the Conservatives, showing perhaps that dissatisfaction with the ruling Conservatives trumps the large ideological gap between the Wild Rose and the NDP.
The NDP leads both in the two major cities and the rest of the province. In Edmonton, where Rachel Notley holds a seat, the NDP has a huge 73 per cent support level. Even in Calgary, the NDP has the lead with 35 per cent of the decided vote to 26 for the Wild Rose and just 24 for the PCs. Even outside the cities where voters tend to be more conservative the NDP is winning by a substantial margin of 39 per cent to 33 for Wild Rose and a mere 22 for the PCs. Strategic voting may mean that even more conservative votes go to the NDP at the expense of the Wild Rose party rather than what you would expect that they would vote PC since they are closer to them ideologically. However, even Albertans apparently have doubts about what is happening since 32 per cent believe that Progressive Conservatives will win the election but only 29 per cent believe the NDP will win. More polls and seat projections can be found at this site.

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