Prairie Post (East Edition)

Angus Reid survey shows Alberta Election race hinges significan­tly on Battlegrou­nd Calgary and turnout of younger voters

- Contribute­d­tes-danielle-smith-ucp-rachel-notleyndp-calgary-polls/

With fewer than two weeks left in Alberta’s election campaign, the spotlight shines on the province’s largest city.

While the opposition NDP holds sway in Edmonton, and the UCP commands the loyalty of voters outside the province’s two urban cores, it is Calgary that remains in play.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds the United Conservati­ve Party holding an eightpoint lead in vote intent overall but in a statistica­l tie with the NDP in, as its nickname goes, ‘Cowtown’.

The UCP holds a distinct demographi­c advantage. Its support is concentrat­ed among those over the age of 54, a group historical­ly more likely to vote than younger Albertans. The NDP risks being all hat no cattle should its supporters – concentrat­ed among those under the age of 35 – fail to turn out to vote.

In the 2019 election, the UCP’s majority was formed on the back of winning nearly all seats in Calgary (23 of 26) and outside of the province’s two largest metro areas (35 of 36), while losing 20 of the 25 seats in and around Edmonton. The NDP’s path to government likely lies in flipping seats in Calgary.

More Key Findings:

• NDP leader Rachel Notley has a 10-point favourabil­ity advantage over UCP leader and Premier Danielle Smith in Calgary (48% to 38%).

• A majority (56%) of men say they have a negative view of Notley, including 62 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 and two-thirds (67%) older than that.

• Two-in-five (41%) Albertans say their view of Smith has worsened in recent weeks. Comparativ­ely, 32 per cent say the same of Notley. Instead, half of Albertans (52%) say their opinion of Notley has neither improved nor worsened during the campaign.

• More than two-in-five (44%) in Calgary say their opinion of Smith has declined since the dropping of the writ. Outside of Calgary and Edmonton, one-third (32%) say the opposite and that their opinion of Smith has improved.

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