Exclusive: Forum Research poll says UCP on track for majority

April 8, 2019
By Catherine Griwkowsky

A new poll from Forum Research, provided exclusively to AB Today, has the United Conservative Party on track to form a large majority government on April 16.

The survey of 1,132 Albertan voters projects the Jason Kenney-led UCP will win 67 of the province’s 87 seats, nearly tripling its current seat count of 25, while Premier Rachel Notley’s New Democrats hang on to just 18 riding — 34 fewer than the governing party currently holds.

Forum projects the Alberta Party and the Alberta Liberal Party will each win one seat.

The majority of decided and leaning voters — 55 per cent — said they intend to vote for the UCP, compared to 32 per cent who said they will vote NDP — a 23 point spread.

The interactive telephone survey was conducted from April 4 to 6; the margin of error is +/- 3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

"Barring something seismic, it doesn't look like the NDP will be able to narrow the gap at this point," Forum Research’s communications coordinator Gary Milakovic said in an interview. "You always hope to have more runway in the disparity between the first and second place party at this point in the campaign."

According to the pollster, the unearthing of controversial past social media activity by UCP candidates has not shifted support for the party.

“It’s clearly not resonating with people,” Milakovic said. “Either it’s not being communicated to [voters], or it’s not resonating with them as an issue.”

The poll has the UCP ahead in every region of the province, including in the NDP stronghold of Edmonton. Forty-nine per cent of Edmontonians said they intend to vote for Kenney’s party, compared to 37 per cent who said they will cast a ballot for team Notley. The UCP leads the NDP by 16 points in Calgary and a whopping 54 points in central Alberta.

While 83 per cent of respondents said they paid attention to last week’s televised leaders’ debate and/or the subsequent news coverage, few were swayed by the leaders’ performances. Three-quarters said the debate will have no impact on their vote.

Meanwhile, a recent poll from Leger shows the two leading parties in a much closer race. Leger’s online survey, conducted on April 2 and 3, tracks the UCP at nine points ahead of the NDP. Provincewide, 47 per cent of Leger’s respondents said they intend to vote for the Tories, compared to 38 per cent who support the NDP.

One-third of the 800 Albertans who responded to a CBC Vote Compass survey said they believe Kenney won Thursday’s televised leadership debate.