A year and a half of governing appears to be souring Albertans on the United Conservative Party (UCP). While it swept to victory in the April 2019 election, capturing 63 of the province’s 87 legislative seats and 55 per cent of the popular vote, the latest data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds the party now well short of majority territory.
Indeed, 38 per cent of residents say they would support the UCP if an election were held tomorrow – remarkably putting the party in a tie with the Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP), which it dispatched to the opposition benches after just one term.
The problems for Kenney’s UCP are twofold. The first is that three-in-10 of its party’s voters from last year are now parking their vote intent elsewhere.
Many of these votes are going to the centre-right Alberta Party and the secessionist Alberta Independence Party.
The second is a widespread dissatisfaction with this government’s handling of several core provincial issues. Three-in-five Albertans say the government has done a poor job in handling health care in the province. The government has been in a protracted, intense dispute with doctors over pay and third-party arbitration.
Further, as it posts its largest deficit in history, just one-in-three residents say the government has done a good job in handling government spending and said deficit, as well as the economy more broadly. They are similarly unimpressed with its record on jobs and unemployment, which is higher in Alberta than most other provinces, and public education, following much angst among parents around returning to school during a pandemic.
More Key Findings:
- Support for the UCP has fallen most among middle-aged (35-54) voters: though 55 per cent of them voted for the UCP last year, only 35 per cent would do so if an election were held tomorrow.
- The overwhelming majority (96%) of those who voted for the NDP in the last election say they would do so again.