UCP (48%) Start 2023 Alberta Election Campaign with a Narrow Lead (44%) Over NDP

Danielle Smith (35%) and Rachel Notley (35%) deadlocked as Alberta’s choice for best premier

May 2, 2023 – A new Global/Ipsos poll conducted using a dual online and phone methodology shows the United Conservative Party (UCP) with a small 4-point lead over the NDP among decided and leaning Alberta voters, in the lead-up to the provincial election scheduled for May 29, 2023. The UCP is doing best with men, older Albertans and those living outside Calgary and Edmonton. The NDP is doing best with women, younger voters and Edmonton voters. The battle for seats in Calgary will be competitive with both parties sharing roughly equal support.

The Horserace

Danielle Smith and the governing United Conservative Party (UCP) will start the campaign with a 4-point lead over Rachel Notley and the New Democrats. Currently, 48% of decided and leaning voters say they would be most likely to support or lean towards the UCP, compared to 44% for the NDP. Eight percent say they would support other parties, including 4% for the Alberta Party. These results exclude the 18% of Albertans who are undecided or express no preference.

Regions: The race is very close in Calgary, with the leading parties in a statistical tie (47% NDP vs. 45% UCP). The NDP is up by 11-points in Edmonton (52% NDP vs. 41% UCP), while the UCP dominates with a 27-point lead in the rest of Alberta (59% UCP vs. 32% NDP).

Age Gap: The UCP leads by a comfortable 13-point margin among older voters (54% UCP vs. 41% NDP among 55+ years). The NDP leads by 6-points among younger voters (47% NDP vs. 41% UCP among 18-34 years), while the two parties share the support of those 35-54 years (47% UCP vs. 46% NDP).

Gender Gap: There is a substantial gender gap, with UCP leading by 17-points among men (54% UCP vs. 37% NDP) and NDP leading by 9-points among women (51% NDP vs. 42% UCP).

Voter Certainty

The NDP’s vote is a little more solid than the UCP’s at the start of the campaign. Six-in-ten (61%) NDP voters say they are ‘absolutely certain’ that they will vote NDP in this election. This compares to a slim majority (52%) of UCP voters who say they are ‘absolutely certain’ about their own vote choice.

Time for Change

Albertans are open to change. Half (50%) believe it’s time for another political party to take over and run the province. About one-third (34%) believe the Smith UCP government has done a good job and deserves re-election, while 16% are undecided. These numbers are very similar to the start of the 2019 campaign that saw the UCP defeat the incumbent NDP in a landslide (was 52% time for change and 31% deserve re-election).

Best Premier

Alberta’s choice as best premier is even closer than the party horserace. Currently, 35% of Albertans choose Danielle Smith and an identical 35% choose Rachel Notley. Barry Morishita (Alberta Party) is a distant third choice (4%). One-quarter (26%) of Albertans are undecided as to which party leader would make the best premier.


About the Study

These are the findings of a Global/Ipsos poll conducted between April 26 and 30, 2023. For this survey, a sample of 1,200 Alberta eligible voters was interviewed, including 800 online and 400 through CATI phone surveys (mix of cell and landlines). These data have been weighted by age, gender, region and education to reflect the Alberta population according to Census figures. The precision of Ipsos polls conducted fully or partly online is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the overall results (1,200 interviews total) are accurate to within ±3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all eligible voters been polled. Some questions are based only on the sample of 800 online respondents and are accurate to within ±3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. Ipsos abides by the disclosure standards established by the CRIC, found here: https://canadianresearchinsightscouncil.ca/standards/

To complete the CATI phone surveys, a total of 3,673 individuals were asked to participate. Call outcomes break down as 400 completes (11%), 2,775 refusals (76%), 182 not eligible (5%), 245 callbacks (7%) and 71 language barriers (2%).

© 2023, Ipsos Limited Partnership

This polling release and the data contained in it are the sole and exclusive property of Ipsos. They are NOT designed to support any election outcome or prediction model and no license to use the polling release or the data is either granted or implied by their publication. Ipsos does not endorse, and has no responsibility for the accuracy of, the result of any predictive model that incorporates this polling data. Furthermore, any use of this information to produce polling aggregations or election models without Ipsos’ written permission will be considered a violation of our intellectual property, and Ipsos reserves the right to take appropriate legal action.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Kyle Braid
SVP, Ipsos Public Affairs

+1 778 373 5130
[email protected]


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