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Polling shows 'most competitive election' as Alberta campaigns wrap second week


As the front-running UCP and NDP complete their second week of campaigning, new numbers suggest Alberta could be in for an extremely close sprint to the finish line.

The two parties have had various swings throughout the last four years, but one pollster suggests things are closer now than they've ever been.

The online survey, conducted and paid for by Abacus Data Inc., heard from 885 Alberta voters from May 9 to 12.

By and large, it shows the NDP is gaining momentum both province-wide and in battleground Calgary.

But it's tight.

"This is probably the most competitive election we've seen," ThinkHQ president Marc Henry said. "In this (poll), it looks like the NDP have a lead, but take into account the margin of error and statistically they're tied."

That margin of error is 3.4 per cent 19 times out of 20.

The data shows that among eligible voters, the NDP has gained 7 points from the last Abacus survey, which happened before the election started.

43 per cent of Albertans say they would vote NDP, followed by the UCP at 35 per cent.

14 per cent of respondents say they are still undecided. That number is down eight points since April, and the survey suggests a lot of those who were previously in the grey area are tracking towards Rachel Notley.

So are women, those under 45-years-old and those who self identified as being a member of a racialized community.

The NDP is also gaining ground in Calgary.

The poll suggests that party leads the UCP by a 42 to 36 per cent score in the city.


Henry sees one leader struggling to hit her stride so far in the campaign.

Danielle Smith isn't polling particularly well.

"She could turn it on," Henry said. "There is still plenty of campaign left, and the debate I think is going to have a pretty significant impact."

"We knew that this was going to be a tough election," Smith told CTV News. "We went two years polling behind the NDP. (Now) we do have a lot of work to do to get people to understand just how important this election is."

Notley says she isn't paying any mind to the outside numbers.

"There are good polls, there are bad polls," she said. "They'll change."


Both front running parties have been focused in on Alberta's health care system, and both came into a sunny Calgary weekend with even more promises.

The NDP is pledging a new signing bonus of $10,000 for relocating health professionals, income support for foreign-trained workers who want to upgrade their education and an emphasis on seat creation at the province's post secondary facilities.

"All of that together, I think, will ensure we're more successful at recruiting and retaining," Notley said on Saturday.

Across the city, the UCP honed in on a different type of health care.

Its latest re-election promises include expanded screening for newborn disease, added support for children with complex needs and funding to attract midwives.

The party says it's a strategy that'll benefit Alberta's kids.

"A re-elected UCP government will do everything we can to ensure they get the supports and services they need to grow and flourish," Smith said. Top Stories

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