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Analysis: UCP Beats NDP in Polls; Jean, Smith and Toews in Very Close Race

If a provincial election were held today, the UCP would narrowly defeat the NDP, according to a new poll.

Among the ruling party’s supporters, though not necessarily card-carrying members, Brian Jean slightly leads in the race for the UCP leadership, although Danielle Smith and Travis Toews are right on his tail.

The online Leger poll of 1,006 conducted Sept. 1-5 shows the UCP under outgoing premier Jason Kenney would capture 44 per cent of total committed voters versus 41 per cent for the Opposition NDP, according to the poll.

It also shows UCP backbencher Jean, who’s vying for the party’s leadership against six rivals, would narrowly top that field among the party’s supporters and edges out Danielle Smith, former Wildrose Party leader and presumptive front-runner, as most capable of going on to win the 2023 general election.

The UCP has had good luck of late, recovering from of a receding pandemic to an economic resurgence capped by the announcement of a $13.2-billion government surplus driven by ballooning energy revenues, said Leger executive vice-president Ian Large.

“This trend is clearly heading in the right direction for the UCP … . People don’t like change when things are going well.”

The poll shows a continuation of NDP strength in Edmonton, with the party capturing 52 per cent of the vote versus 33 per cent for the UCP.

But in Calgary, the governing party leads the NDP by 44 per cent to 38 per cent. The UCP leads in the rest of the province 53 per cent to 32 per cent for the NDP.

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