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RCMP quietly adding more firearms to the banned list – The Western Standard (www.westernstandardonline.com)


According to the second part of a Northwest Research Poll commissioned by the Western Standard, Alberta’s political landscape appears to be undergoing a shift.

The governing United Conservative Party (UCP) has seen its big lead shrink from 55 per cent in the 2019 election down to 40 per cent of decided voters. While the NDP remains virtually unchanged at 34 per cent, the upstart Wildrose Independence Party (WIP) comes onto the scene in its first major poll in third place at 10 per cent.

The Alberta Party garnered 8 per cent, the Liberals 7, and the Greens 1.

Undecided voters made up 23 per cent of the total, coming mostly at the expense of Albertans who voted UCP in last year’s election.

The poll surveyed 1,100 people in Alberta, was weighted for regional population, age, and gender, and contains a margin of error of 3.02 per cent. 

“These numbers line up with other polls tracing declining support for the UCP government and the premier, but suggest a new liability that is directly related to Kenney’s strategy of tapping into anger and anti-federalist sentiments,” said Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams.

“Some of us warned of the dangers of stoking such inclinations in the lead up to the 2019 election. Such anger can turn against leaders/governments who fail to meet the expectations raised. And indeed, the new Wildrose Independence Party appears to be capitalizing on the growing legitimacy of anti-federalist [and pro] independence rhetoric.”

“I would not be surprised to see the highest support [for the WIP] in former Wildrose and Social Credit strongholds [i.e. central and southern Alberta]. As the poll also seems to suggest, there may be enduring challenges for opponents of the UCP and Kenney, splitting their vote for alternatives.”

Poll conducted by Northwest Research Group, all rights reserved by Western Standard (Wildrose Media Corp.)

Regional breakdown

The regional breakdowns also tell an interesting story.

The Tories remain dominant in Calgary with 47 per cent support, well ahead of the NDP at 27, the Alberta Party at 9, the Wildrose Independence Party at 8, and the Liberals at 7.

The NDP maintain their stronghold on Edmonton with 48 per cent, with the UCP at 31, the Alberta Party and Liberals both at 8, and the Wildrose at 5.

Outside of the two big cities, the UCP remains ahead, but its domination has been shaken with support down to 43 per cent. The NDP stand at 27, the Wildrose Independence Party at 16, Alberta at 8, Liberals at 4, and Greens at 2.

Independence question becoming Alberta’s third rail

Earlier this week, the Western Standard released a poll from the same respondents on support for Alberta independence. With support ranging from 45 to 48 per cent of decided respondents, independence could become the third-rail of Alberta politics.

The poll found that independence support was 82 per cent with Wildrose Independence Party voters, 52 per cent with UCP voters, 50 per cent with Alberta Party voters, 41 per cent of current undecided voters, and just 11 per cent of NDP voters.

Earlier this week, the Western Standard released a poll from the same respondents on support for Alberta independence. With support ranging from 45 to 48 per cent of decided respondents, independence could become the third-rail of Alberta politics.

This is likely fuelling early support for the Wildrose Independence Party, which will be formed in late June if members of the Freedom Conservative Party and Wexit Alberta vote to approve a merger deal.

Divided left, centre-left

Changes in the political landscape aren’t just happening on the right-end of the spectrum. While the NDP remains the dominant force on the left, it’s two centre-left competitors continue to sap potential strength.

The Alberta Party continues to tread water from its 2019 election results at 8 per cent, and the Liberals have made somewhat of a comeback to 7 per cent, up from the 1 per cent they received during the election.

The Liberal numbers show that the NDP still has discontented progressive voters not yet under its tent, and that the Alberta Party has yet to starve the Liberals out as the sole “goldilocks” option between the NDP and UCP.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
[email protected]
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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