The Alberta 2023 election is officially underway, with voting day set for May 29th. Premier Danielle Smith requested that Lieutenant Governor Salma Lakhani dissolve the legislature and issue the election writ. That means that all MLAs cease to be elected members of the legislature, although the Ministers of the Crown continue in their roles until a new cabinet is sworn in post-election. During the election (i.e. writ period), there are also special rules governing third party advertising, and campaign expenses.
It is shaping up to be one of the most interesting and tight races Albertans have ever seen! The latest poll, released in late April by Abacus Data, shows the UCP and NDP tied among decided voters province-wide at 46%, with the UCP leading 40% to 34% in Calgary. Support seems to be more solid for NDP than UCP, with 87% of those who voted NDP in 2019 say they will vote for them again, while 60% of those who say they voted UCP last time will do so this time around. Perhaps most interestingly, in terms of voting motivation, 41% of UCP voters say they are voting to stop Rachel Notley and the NDP, 47% of NDP voters are voting to stop Danielle Smith and the UCP.
Come election day, there are a few key things that will most likely dictate the results. First, the area surrounding Edmonton, such as Sherwood Park and St Albert, as well as ridings in the northwest part of Calgary, are setting up to be very tight and will most likely tip the race one way or the other.
Second, what happens with the people who voted Alberta Party in 2019? This third party, positioned in the middle between the NDP and UCP, was a factor in the last election. But like the Liberal Party of Alberta, it seems to have faded over the past few years and will not come close to nominating a full slate of candidates. Do those voters switch to the NDP or the UCP, or perhaps they just stay home? Prairie Sky’s Senior Strategy Advisor, Ben Thibault, wrote an interesting piece in the latest edition of The Wire, Prairie Sky’s campaign note book (check your in-box!)
Third, will the deal announced just last week on a new arena and event centre in Calgary switch enough votes to make a difference in key ridings? Or are Calgarians, like all other Albertans, uber focused on what pollsters tell us are the key issues of affordability/cost of living, healthcare, economy?
Prairie Sky’s consultants can help you make sense of it all. Please reach out if you have questions. And stay tuned for the latest edition of Prairie Sky’s election briefing note, The Wire, coming out this Friday!
We’re Here to Help
For more information and insights about what these developments mean for Alberta’s political landscape, please contact:
Elysa Darling – Senior Strategy Advisor
Rick Fraser – Senior Strategy Advisor
Duane Monea – Senior Strategy Advisor
Colleen Potter – Senior Strategy Advisor
Mat Steppan – Senior Strategy Advisor
Jeff Sterzuk – President
Ben Thibault – Senior Strategy Advisor
Richard Truscott – Vice-President
To learn more about Prairie Sky Strategy, please visit our website.