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UCP holds narrow lead with upcoming election set to be political horserace: ThinkHQ

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A new political poll crafted by ThinkHQ Public Affairs says if an election were held in Alberta today, voters would be split on who should form the next government.

In its findings, ThinkHQ found 48 per cent of those surveyed support Premier Danielle Smith and the United Conservative Party while 45 per cent support Rachel Notley’s New Democrats.

“The next provincial election is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in Alberta’s history,” said Marc Henry, president of ThinkHQ.

“As it sits today, the NDP can capture 20 seats out of Edmonton without breaking a sweat, and the UCP can say the same for most of the constituencies outside of the two biggest cities.”

The poll shows Calgary will be the battleground, with Henry saying that will be where the election is won or lost.

Twenty-six seats are up for grabs, 29 if you include those outside the Calgary metropolitan area.

The premier’s office says the UCP are focused on “keeping life affordable, health care delivery, job creation and economic diversification and ensuring Albertans feel safe in their communities.”

“For months, United Conservative MLAs have been meeting with constituents to discuss their priorities and those messages have been heard loud and clear,” said spokesperson Taylor Hides.

Alberta NDP health critic David Shepherd says Calgary is where the NDP needs to make ground in the election.

“We have teachers, folks that have been working on the frontlines of the health care system, folks with deep expertise in the health care system, folks with deep expertise in energy, renewable energy and folks that have worked on building the economy,” said Shepherd.

“We are proud of the team that we’ve had, and know that all those folks are out there every day knocking on doors, talking to Calgarians, because that is where this will be decided.”

Henry says there will be a majority mandate because this is a two-party race.

“The two parties are very evenly matched,” said Henry.

“The UCP has recovered quite a bit of ground with Danielle Smith as the UCP leader, most of it at the expense of the Wildrose party.”

Henry adds that four out of 10 voters don’t like any of the alternatives and are not enthusiastic about going to the polls.

The poll found that more women are inclined to vote for the NDP than the UCP, while more men would cast a ballot for the conservatives.

In Calgary, 45 per cent of respondents support the NDP while 47 per cent support the UCP.

In Edmonton, 58 per cent of respondents would cast a ballot for Notley, only 36 per cent for Smith.

But the UCP had much bigger margins in north, central and southern Alberta, at more than 50 per cent support.

The margin of error for the poll is +/- 2.9 percentage points.

1,144 people were surveyed from across the province.

Alberta’s general election is May 29th. 

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