Prairie Post (East Edition)

Alberta Election: Smith judged best choice on oil and gas, Notley best on health; leaders tied on best vision

- Link to the poll here:

With advance voting beginning on May 23 and Election Day set for May 29, Albertans will soon choose their next provincial government with no shortage of important issues on the docket. Whether it’s the wildfires raging in the province, strengthen­ing a post-COVID-19 health-care system, or protecting and building on a booming economy, voters are looking to party leaders for their vision and response.

With the economy, jobs, and inflation top of mind for potential voters, the latest data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Albertans assessing United Conservati­ve Party and leader Danielle Smith as the best choice to manage the economy and the oil and gas sector, while NDP and leader Rachel Notley are seen as the best choice for the healthcare system, and for “honest and ethical leadership”.

On the question of the overall vision each party offers, the parties and leaders are tied: 42 per cent say Notley has the right outlook for the province, with statistica­lly the same number (41%) saying the same of Smith.

These are crucial undercurre­nts in a race that will largely be decided by how many younger voters turn up in the battlegrou­nd of Calgary, as noted in the Angus Reid Institute’s previous release on current vote intentions. Consider that when asked which party – all issues considered – is best to form government, 40 per cent choose the UCP and 40 per cent choose the NDP.

More Key Findings:

• The top two issues for every age and gender grouping are either inflation/ cost of living or health care. Crime and public safety are chosen as a top issue by approximat­ely one-quarter of residents in each area of the province, making it the third highest provincial priority.

• UCP voters are twice as likely as NDP voters to say that their party leader would not make the best premier for Alberta (23% vs 11%). That said, the vast majorities of both camps back their own leaders.

• On the question of best premier, Notley holds a 12-point advantage in Calgary and a 21-point advantage in Edmonton. Outside of those urban centres, Smith is chosen by a wide margin (48% to 27%).

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