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NDP inches ahead in Calgary, but new poll suggests it may not be enough


Just days before Albertans head to the polls, new research suggests Rachel Notley's NDP holds a modest edge in battleground Calgary.

The latest numbers from ThinkHQ Public Affairs show a New Democrat lead in the seat-rich city, but it still may not be enough to give Alberta another ‘Orange Crush’.

City-wide, the survey says the NDP holds 49 per cent of the decided vote, followed closely by the UCP with 43 per cent.

Ten per cent of voters remain undecided: a sizeable dip from polls earlier in the campaign.

ThinkHQ president Marc Henry says the numbers show Monday's election could come down to the wire.

"Technically speaking, the two parties could be tied, and many of these seats look very competitive," he said. "If these numbers hold over the weekend, the adage about horseshoes and hand grenades may apply here for the NDP. They could expect to capture up to nine additional seats, but it would still leave them short of forming government.

"The path to victory has always been easier for the UCP, given the number of safe rural seats they hold."


The poll backs up multiple other surveys that suggest Danielle Smith's UCP could come out on top thanks to Alberta's men and those aged 55 and older.

Those voters show a clear preference for the UCP, while women and voters under 54 tend to like the NDP.

Albertans with post-secondary education also largely support the New Democrats.

Geographically, the UCP holds a slight advantage in south Calgary, and is in a dead heat in the suburbs and established communities.

The inner-city shows a sizeable 25-point NDP advantage.


Smith's ratings among voters remain decidedly negative, according to ThinkHQ.

Fifty-eight per cent of those polled dislike the UCP leader, with 49 per cent "strongly” opposed.

Just under half of those voters give Notley a thumbs up.

Once again, the numbers are tilted based on gender and age.

Smith polls higher among men and those aged 55 and older. Notley is more favourable among those who have continued education and is "very popular" among those under 35-years-old.

ThinkHQ found Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita received mixed reviews.

The poll says 56 per cent of voters were unable to offer a rating due to "a lack of familiarity."


The poll suggests 15 per cent of past UCP voters are planning to cast a ballot for the NDP this time around. That tracks with recent stories from across the province of former PCers turning away from the United Conservatives.

The NDP's voter base has remained strong though. According to those surveyed, 97 per cent of its 2019 voters are committed to Notley again in 2023.

There is also a notable shift in the number of those Calgarians holding their nose and voting.

There are nearly as many voters who say they feel “pushed” toward their choice as “pulled” toward it. Forty-five per cent say their vote will primarily be because they dislike the other options.

The survey was commissioned and paid for by ThinkHQ. It was done using an online survey of 1,054 voting Calgarians from May 19 to 23.

The margin of error is +/- 3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Top Stories

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