If a provincial election were called in Alberta, it would apparently be a close one.
While Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party came into power in 2019 with an impressive 55% of the popular vote, it seems that the current premier has lost favour with some of that support base.
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A recent study from the Angus Reid Institute found that, if an election were to be held tomorrow, vote intention would be split evenly between Alberta’s UCP and the previously elected NDP, at 38% apiece.
Conducted online between August 26 and September 1, the study asked 599 randomized Albertan respondents about how their votes would land if an election were held the following day.
The weathering away of Kenney’s support base is likely due to an increased level of support for Alberta’s two other right-of-centre parties, the Alberta Party and the Alberta Independence Party, garnering 9% and 7% of vote intention, respectively.
Other parties in Alberta snagged the remaining 8%, leaving Alberta in a position similar to the one it had been in when Rachel Notley’s NDP gained power back in 2015.
A situation that may repeat itself come the next election, as the NDP’s support base has remained relatively untouched over the past year and a half, according to the study, which found that of the respondents who voted NDP in the last election, 96% would do so again if an election were held at the time of the polling.
The NDP were significantly more popular among Alberta’s female voters, as well as those aged 18 to 34.
While the United Conservative Party used to hold the majority of voters in both the 35-54 and 55+ age demographics, they’ve lost a significant portion of their middle-aged voters in the year and a half since the election.
The UCP remains in the favour of Alberta’s aged 55+ up, with a slim majority.
The time since the last election has also seen a decline in approval rating for Premier Kenney, dropping 19 points since June 2019.
The most recent drop in approval rating may be due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Alberta government’s response, as the Angus Reid Institute found that Alberta is doing second worst at handling the pandemic, according to respondents.
Another Alberta provincial election likely won’t be seen for some years, as Jason Kenney has until 2024 to call the next one.