Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley on the campaign trail a week ago (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

A new poll by Abacus Data released yesterday suggests the Alberta NDP led by Rachel Notley is breaking ahead of the United Conservative Party led by Danielle Smith and heading into winning territory. 

United Conservative Party Leader Danielle Smith (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr)

“Among all eligible voters, the NDP has gained 7 points from our last survey before the election started,” said Abacus Chairman and CEO David Coletto in his analysis of the polling data culled by the firm from questions asked of 885 eligible voters between Tuesday and the day before yesterday. 

“This is the first time in our tracking that the NDP support is above 40 per cent and is the largest lead we’ve measured for either party in the five waves of research we completed,” Dr. Coletto said. 

“Among eligible voters likely to vote, the NDP lead is slightly smaller (5 points) with the NDP at 46 per cent, the UCP at 41 per cent, and undecided at 9 per cent,” he said. “Among decided likely voters, the ballot is closer with the NDP ahead by 6, 51 per cent to 45 per cent.”

Importantly, the Abacus data show the NDP leading in Calgary – where the consensus among pundits holds the election will be won or lost. 

“The NDP is slightly ahead in Calgary (42 per cent to 36 per cent),” Dr. Coletto said. When the undecideds are removed, he added, that becomes 49 per cent for the NDP and 41 per cent for the UCP with the Alberta Party at 5 per cent. 

Abacus Data Chairman and CEO David Coletto (Photo: Carleton University).

Now, I’m not going to go too deep into the weeds endlessly repeating what Dr. Coletto wrote in his very accessible and clearly written summary. You can read it yourself here

The important thing is that this shows the NDP in a winning position, with undecided voters finally moving – and breaking toward the NDP. 

Narrative matters in election campaigns and results like these contribute to a narrative. 

Now, this is a blog with a point of view that is more favourable to the policies advocated by the NDP than those of the UCP under Danielle Smith’s leadership, and one hates to counsel caution at a moment like this.

Still, the Abacus results yesterday do run counter to the findings of another recent poll by Mainstreet Research, which said Saturday it was in the field on the same dates talking to 1,338 adults. 

Mainstreet had the UCP ahead by 6 points, at 45 per cent compared with 39 per cent for the NDP.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m not a fan of Mainstreet, whose polls are sometimes accurate, sometimes not so accurate, and at least once, in President and CEO Quito Maggi’s own words, “a catastrophic failure.”

Former Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was at the centre of a famous “catastrophic polling failure” in 2017 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

That failure was the 2017 Mainstreet prediction that former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi would lose to his Conservative challenger by a wide margin. Mr. Nenshi, as we all know now, won. 

I’m sure Mainstreet has fine-tuned its methodology since then, so we should view all opinion surveys, including Mainstreet’s, thoughtfully and with an appropriate level of caution.  

In a Substack post, the always entertaining Evan Scrimshaw, who seems incapable of pulling his punches, expressed his doubts about the surge of UCP support in Edmonton reported by Mainstreet and called the Calgary results from Abacus “genuinely frightening for the UCP.”

While you never really know for sure with polls – they are, after all, just a snapshot in time – Abacus’s results do have a believable feel.

Among the reasons I say that: What many of us are observing of the sign wars in our own communities; the apparent impact of serial revelations of the outrageous things said by Ms. Smith over the past few months that are suddenly contradicted by her when they’re reported; the growing public awareness of the troubling role played in Ms. Smith’s UCP by the extremist Take Back Alberta faction; the increasingly panicky rhetoric from UCP candidates; and the ridiculous hysterical and defamatory social media attacks on the quality of Abacus polling by UCP trolls.

Conservative parties, though, even ones as badly led as Ms. Smith’s, enjoy an enormous structural advantage on the Alberta electoral map. So it’s prudent for all observers to continue to treat this election as too close to call.

My guess is there will very soon be some more polls from other respectable pollsters and we’ll have a stronger sense of which way voters are heading. 

So brace yourselves, if voter sentiment appears to be clearly breaking toward the NDP, the reaction from the UCP will not be pretty. 

The election is scheduled to take place on May 29.

A note on margins of error

It is metronomically argued by commentators who pay too much attention to political polling that the margin of error is critically important and must always be reported. Frankly, I have my doubts about this, and think it’s prudent to be skeptical of all polls, even ones by reputable pollsters with good track records and believable margins of error. 

Since almost nobody understands the intricacies of polling and the many ways it can be manipulated, I increasingly suspect reporting margins of error just muddies the water further for most readers. They are usually reported as plus or minus a small percentage, 19 times out of 20, or something like that. If you’re not a pollster, what does that really mean when there are so many other factors to consider, including the hysterical lies of nuts trying to create a stop-the-steal narrative?  

For what it’s worth, the Abacus poll reports a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 per cent; Mainstreet reports one of plus or minus 2.7 per cent. 

Join the Conversation


  1. Just a thought: maybe UCP voters, especially those seniors who make up a good majority of the voters, have finally heard about the proposed loss of their CPP, or ABP and are suddenly not to keen on the change, along with the private or public health care. I know of at least 1/2 doz that have changed their minds in the last 6 mths. as to whom they are voting for. And going by her Twitter feed, there are alot of ‘unhappy campers’, ie;the evacuees who feel she didn’t do enough about the wildfires. or about notifications. With the number of people posting the articles about the cuts to wildfire fighting, anyone who is following her ,now have time to read these and are asking questions. If she tries blocking people, she won’t be able to give updates. Conundrum!!

    Side bar: Why was she wearing a jacket that says ‘Premier of Alberta ‘ ,when she went to Grand Prairie??

    1. The person who came to my home wore a black windbreaker with “UCP Caucus” in large white letters. He had his nose to my front door, peering in. At least the phone company salespeople ring the bell and step back, realizing that we’re still in Covid times and people don’t like aggressive sales tactics.

  2. Hold onto your hats, folks. The Abacus report really moved the needle in the poll averages and trends at
    But who knows what the wildfires and Thursday’s debate and bozo eruptions on either side might do. A week is a long time in politics (quote usually attributed to UK PM Harold Wilson in the 1960s).

    At times like these, I always recall Emily Dickinson’s poem:

    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all….

  3. I have noticed increasingly desperate activity by the TBA faction. Regardless, ignore the polls and go vote.

  4. “an enormous structural advantage on the Alberta electoral map”

    Question from a concerned neighbour: so why didn’t the NDP correct this when they were in power? Is the timing of electoral boundary redistributions tied to the national census, and it can’t be done at any other time?

    There must be a knowledgeable reader of this blog who can answer.


    1. Sub-Boreal: It’s a very good question. The independent electoral commission system does a good job within the limitations imposed upon it by custom, politics, history, and demographics. (I am not saying there is gerrymandering here on the level of, say, Republican States south of the 49th Parallel.) The simplest change that could make Alberta more democratic and limit some of the imbalance between rural and urban votes would be to pick a smaller number for the average population of a riding and increase the number of ridings significantly – double them, I say. This would also be good for smaller parties, like the Alberta Party. As the Parliament at Westminster proves, not every elected person requires their own desk and chair. Politically, though, I think that would have been a very tall order for the NDP in one, first term. Or ever, really. (Think of the cost! Eyeroll.) Conservatives, naturally, will fight hard for the status quo, because the status quo works in their favour. DJC

  5. The UCP are on limited time, with Danielle Smith. They are finished. Who needs these pretend Conservatives and Reformers sabotaging what Peter Lougheed did right for Alberta? Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  6. The only poll that counts will be the one on May 29.

    We have turned off the election noise.

    We should be typical Conservative voters. But this is not case these days in Alberta.

    We have no intention of even considering a vote for the UCP as long as Danielle Smith is the Leader and/or as long as the TBA crew are controlling the Party and/or the Premier.

    Alberta under Danielle Smith has become the butt of jokes in other parts of the country. Our friends in other provinces ask us if what they hear and read about her comments, past and present, are really true. Alas, they are.

  7. So…is this going to be a repeat of 2015, where the ye olde Alberta Pee Cees are crushed at the polls by voters who were overwhelming angry at the epic incompetence and corruption they had witnessed over the some 40 years of Tory rule? Yes and No.

    It’s seems like light years away now, but that really was a different time, politically speaking. These days, social media has tainted the landscape, created various cults of the conspiracy minded, who are convinced that any lead by the NDP isn’t the result of the public’s outrage over Danielle Smith and the UCP’s handling of everything. Rather, it’s the machinations of the Globalist/WEF/Illuminati/Trudeau/UN cabal, dedicated to destroying FreeDUMB loving Albertans. (The only true Canadians, mind you.) The wildfires are part of a much larger plot to break the will of true patriots. Events are described where Notley’s ANTIFA goons are running all over Alberta’s parched lands and violating its God-given beauty by indiscriminately shooting flare guns at the dry woodlands. Only the evil Notley/Singh/Trudeau coalition would do that.

    And noting the dominance of that renewed hellscape called Twitter, the nonsense is flying fast and furious. Apparently, there is a viral petition going around that, supposed protected by laws of some kind, Justin Trudeau must resign and the Liberal government MUST call an election if the Twitter petition gets ninety-bazillion signatures. Apparently, there’s a real Queen of Canada that has decreed this, so it must be true.

    In the end, nothing is trusted and everything is suspect. I’ve already noted that some of the more prolific rabble rousers, like Keean Bexte and TBA. have taken any polling numbers showing a NDP lead and reversed the order of the leaders. A 10% lead for the NDP? No. It’s really a 10% lead for the UCP, or TBA will trash your NDP election signs. Danielle Smith boasts and Alberta has never been stronger and spends freely and wildly, while the actually economic performance tells a much darker picture. No problem. Blame Trudeau, if everything fails. The denial of anything (like reality) outside of the UCP echo chamber is verboten. Welcome to Trump Rally North.

    I’m wondering when Skippy Pollivere will step into all this nonsense and amp up the rage farming? After all, if the UCP completely lose it as bad as polling says they will, his own fortunes may take a turn for the worst. Already, Postmedia pundits are declaring Pollivere the “best PM Canada never had”. Weird.

    Going out to get more popcorn. I’m popping my own now, and I’ve gotten really talented at it by now.

  8. It is often hard to really know, except in hindsight, what campaign approaches resonate with voters. However, I feel the NDP are generally taking the best approach given the situation.

    To add to the uncertainty here also throw into the mix, a close race, an unpredictable opponent and a history of people voting a certain way. This poll does seem to show something different than some others, but campaigns can be like that. At times they do cause some voters to change their minds.

    It could still be a close race and things could still go back and forth some, so it is not a time for complacency, but a bit of good news is a real boost.

  9. “They are usually reported as plus or minus a small percentage, 19 times out of 20, or something like that.”
    This is actually useful. What it tells us is that there’s only a 5% chance that the results reported are a false positive – that 19 out of twenty polls carried out on the same population (but not on the same sample of respondents) would give the same results (within the error bars).
    Done properly, polling is an exercise in statistics, and things like random sampling are very important. And knowing the acceptance level lets us know how much faith we can place in the results.

    1. Lars: I have no problem with pedantry. (I just hope no TBA member reads that and misunderstands!) And, I agree, margins of error are useful. My quibble is with those who demand they are a key part of journalistic reporting on every poll since most readers/viewers don’t understand the concept and will never take the time to figure it out. I think they muddy the water and make polls look more reliable than they may actually be. I would note that some pollsters, who shall remain nameless to protect the litigious, have published online surveys with margins of error for which polling experts say margins of error cannot be calculated. DJC

    2. Hi Lars. I dug out my ancient statistics textbook (haven’t looked at it since NAIT) and looked up “confidence intervals” and “significance levels.” Yours is the best explanation for laymen that I’ve encountered. Thanks.

  10. DJC, another excellent choice of photos: Dani dip ? LOL!!!!

    Just Me; if her supporters became aware of her stance on the WEF — Edmonton Sun/ March 10-2014…”Alberta opposition parties react to World Economic Forum flap”.
    ..though I’m sure they would hear the usual : imprecise, misspoke, back in my previous career etc etc. Just like PP trying desperately to scrub his name from it, but screen shots are out of his control…. and with Mad Max making his announcement to run in Manitoba and inundating PP’s Twitter page with some interesting hyberpole, will be an interesting campaign as well. I think you’ll need the family size box of popcorn, lol.

  11. After having Mother’s Day dinner with our children and grandchildren yesterday I don’t have to worry about any of them voting for this fool Danielle Smith. My daughter even had a NDP sign on her lawn. Last Saturday I had a great conversation with a friend of mine and like me he can’t believe how stupid many of our fellow seniors are. We are sick and tired of these idiots who go around saying COVID Vaccines are useless you can still get COVID after being vaccinated, or masks are useless they don’t work. Of course they aren’t smart enough to understand that doctors and nurses only had masks as a defence against COVID when it first hit us before the vaccinations came out. Then there is the fact that yes you can still get COVID after being vaccinated as many of us seniors know but we are still alive, yet the idiots who refused are dead. You just can’t be any dumber than these idiots, and it only seems to be seniors being this stupid in our world. The young Albertans seem to be a lot smarter. Insulting 75% of Albertans for daring to get vaccinated to save their lives proves how stupid Daniele Smith is and I don’t believe the polls at all, everything I see points to her being kicked out. Surveys done by newspapers prove it, very few want Smith. What are you seeing, and hearing?

  12. “You can vote your way into socialism. You almost always have to shoot your way out.” So said David Parker of the Take Back Alberta faction, now holding considerable influence over UCP constituency associations, candidates and the premier’s office.

    Parker also said, “This is a war between the pro-humans and anti-humans.” Women with careers who delay childbearing are his definition of “anti-humans”.

    Today is Mother’s Day. Should there be a two-tiered celebration for “pro-human” mothers who had children in line with TBA and Parker’s standards, and another “anti-human” Mother’s Day to protest women who had children in any way that displeases TBA’s David Parker? What about mothers who bore children throughout their fertile years and built careers between children, or mothers who did not bear children at all, but adopted? What about mothers who conceived with the help of fertility doctors, with donated embryos or by surrogate? Are these mothers all “anti-human”?

    TBA holds views of women that should be frightening to anyone with a wife, a daughter, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, an aunt or a transgender woman in their lives.

    TBA’s leader has threatened violence. TBA pulls the UCP’s strings. Note the word David Parker uses often: “control”.

    I believe in democracy. I believe in choice. I do not support the UCP or the UCP under David Parker’s not-so-invisible hand. Democracy is at stake here. David Parker is not God. He is not good. He can take his “shoot your way out” philosophy somewhere else, where he’ll find people happy to shoot back. Not in my province! Not in my country! I’m voting against the UCP, its candidates and its choice for premier. I’m voting for the party that will uphold democratic values in the face of the UCP and TBA. I’m voting NDP.

    1. Abs , congratulations on the restraint for not turning the hose on the UCP caucus pusher, if a TBA showed up, I know I would have a really hard time not to, 50 yrs of progress for women’s rights and equality are on the line, just as down south, and that’s just step one for those Neanderthals….

    2. In 1933 , Germany voted itself into fascism. Parker would do well to remember that too.

  13. There’s a lot of optimism on these pages that the NDP will indeed be victorious at the end of the month, optimism that I’m not sure is warranted or realistic. I just can’t bring myself to be that positive, not with the current clowns we have running the show (obviously very well backed and well financed clowns). My friends, unless a miracle happens and the NDP do get in I will happily eat crow at that point, until then I will resign myself to the likely reality that we will be stuck with Dani Straightjacket for another 4 miserable years.

    1. I don’t think anyone is being all that optimistic about anything other than Danielle “14 words” Smith being handed her walking papers at some point, either by the TBA cultists she’s cultivated, or a successful NDP campaign. There has never been a premier in alberta LESS up to the job, hatchet or otherwise, this woman is incompetent. If I was her I would be looking for a soft landing, failure is never rewarded well in alberta.

    2. Firth of Fifth: A long-time favourite (holy crap, it’s been 50 years – guess I’m dating myself), and quite apt at this point in time:

      “The path is clear, though no eyes can see
      The course laid down long before
      And so with gods and men, the sheep remain inside their pen
      Though many times they’ve seen the way to leave”

      1. Thanks Bob. Most people don’t catch on to the Genesis reference so it’s good to see a fellow fan hanging about. And I agree, strangely prophetic lyrics for a very strange time….

  14. Canadian women were declared “Persons” in 1929. Has David Parker of TBA heard about this yet? I’m doubtful.

    “Take Back Alberta’s ‘prince of woke’ looks to return power to the people”: Global News headline on Mother’s Day.

  15. Many older folks in my neighbourhood I have talked to lately are very loyal conservative voters and have been for a long time. However none of them can stand Smith and are at odds of who to vote for in this election. Of course I always point then in the NDP direction.

  16. Polls as of late have proven to be inaccurate. People don’t have land lines, or self select in and out leading to grand errors. Just where is President Hilary Clinton?

    Having a margin of error and sampling size given is still somewhat useful, as it allows for an informed judgement in a coarse sense about the poll quality. Poll question design and profiling of respondents can still lead to errors of course. As a critic of this dark art put it: polls sell news media more than anything else.

    I will go with Rachel’s astute comment that what counts is polling day. I might also the political party’s door to door canvasser’s mark sheets are pretty reliable too – if still used. Remembering that it has been 30 odd years since I was a poll organizer in Edmonton Strathcona.

  17. Was your NDP lawn sign stolen like mine?

    The immature? TBA? Or UCP?

    Can you even tell the difference?

    1. PJP: I’ve been watching NDP signs in my staid and rather conservative neighbourhood. A number have gone missing and a few have been vandalized. They still outnumber the UCP signs by more than two to one, though. DJC

      1. This is one of the annoyances of lawn signs. Since the beginning hooliganism of lawn signs has been a popular sport by those of a juvenile mindset. Sort of like graffiti on urinal walls. Anyway, as a long time electoral combatant I recommend taking the sign and using masking tape to place it inside a front window. Most hooligans won’t vandalize a window. Pretty much none in fact. Especially if it’s on the second floor of your house. For country folks glue it to thin plywood and then screw/nail it to a tall object. Make the hooligan work for his stupidity.

        1. My experience of NDP signs, both lawn and larger on my farm land has not been positive. For 40 years I have put them up and then called the cops when they are vandalized by cowards and creeps unknown.
          At one point I put them up on on long boards liberally covered in dried pig manure, and attached to fence posts. The Conservative creeps still managed to tear them down. At least they had to wash their hands for a change. I have never put up game cameras because I might be even more disappointed than I already am about the quality of my rural neighbours.

      2. I found a stash of stolen NDP signs on my way home last night. They were redistributed 😉

  18. I do not understand the minds of NDPers such as your self and a large number of the commentors; but I suppose that it is because I value faith and family above all else, as opposed to insanely radical left wing ideology which seeks to destroy history and rebuild civilization.

    Case in point: the NDP invited, and had performing in front of children, a literal drag queen at their AGM. NDP voters, if there are any sane ones of you left, I would implore you not to vote for people who think it’s perfectly fine for a grown man dressed as a hypersexualixed woman prancing around at a political event, with children present.

    I would also invite you to look at Notley’s statements on public education and charter schools, specifically where she says that charter schools should receive less funding. Could it be that she merely wants to go after the Calagary and Edmonton Classical Academy, which prioritize a classical education that has a tendency not to produce good little socialists?

    Or how about when the NDP went after Wisdom homeschooling (and thankfully lost) merely because, yet again, they have a vendetta against anyone wanting to educate their children in a way that doesn’t brainwash them as a liberal?

    This is merely the tip of the iceberg. I could cite many instances during their reign in 2015-2019 where their policies attack faith and family. And I have absolutely no doubt that they’ll do it again.

    Danielle Smith and the UCP may not be perfect, but they’re a hell of a lot better then Notley and the other radical left crazies.

    1. Buddy, if you think NDPers have an “insanely radical left wing ideology which seeks to destroy history and rebuild civilization,” I need to find out where to get some of what you’re smoking. I’m not sure that Western Standard video is the real thing – it’s certainly been edited to make it look bad. As for Notley’s statements on charter schools, whatever she said, the whole point of the charter school scam is to undermine and defund public education, which she defends, so she’d got my vote right there for that. As for Wisdom, I’m pretty sure it was shut down for financial irregularities involving public money. ( The NDP is a centre-right party. It’s not even social democrat, let alone socialist. The party that is run by lunatics is the UCP/TBA. And, in fact, it is the TBA crowd that want to destroy and rebuild civilization in their own image.

    2. Cognitive dissonance presupposes cognition.

      Help me folx. Add your favourite DS quote:

      ““Once you’ve arrived and got stage-four cancer and there’s radiation and surgery and chemotherapy, that is (an) incredibly expensive intervention,” Smith said. “When you think everything that built up before you got to stage four and that diagnosis, that’s completely within your control and there’s something you can do about that”

      “Smith wrote. “A study of moderate smokers, those who consumed one to 14 cigarettes a day, found no difference in lung cancer mortality rates.”

      “They have been the most discriminated against group that I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime,” Smith said of unvaccinated Canadians at the news conference.”

      “As someone with Indigenous ancestry, I honour the heritage of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples as one of our nation’s and province’s greatest treasures and strengths,” Smith wrote in a Sept. 28 tweet”

      “On a livestream chat on April 29, Smith said: “The only answer for Ukraine is neutrality,” adding she understands why Russia would have a concern with a western-aligned Ukraine armed with nuclear weapons on its doorstep. Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons in the 1990s.”

    3. I don’t know where you get the idea that the NDP is left wing and excessively socialist. Have you tried the VoxPop vote compass ( to see where you align with the actual positions (to the extent that they can be determined) of the various parties. These days the NDP are pretty centrist. And when in power in SK and Manitoba they have been moderate and even in some cases run balanced budgets. I was actually surprised that both the Greens and Alberta party in this tool were much further left than the NDP, given the history of these parties in the province. Liberals pretty much indistinguishable from the NDP.
      You claim that faith and family are important you which is great. If you are a Christian, have you actually read the relevant parts of the new testament, like the first section of the acts of the apostles, the sermon on the mount and the beatitudes? Some pretty socialist ideas in there. Strong incitements to social justice all round.

      Are you aware that many of the pioneer socialists eg. in the UK were in fact men and women of profound faith (Robert Owen and others.

      Finally, why all the fuss about people dressed in drag? There is a long history of cross-dressing in the theatre. Juliet would have been played by a man in Shakespeare’s day and the tradition continues in pantomimes (the Widow Twankey !) and elsewhere. I have never heard that children came to any harm from watching these.

    4. Calling people who disagree with you crazy and insane is about as likely to sway undecided voters to your side as calling the vaccinated Nazi supporters. Of course you claim a biblical name, because The Bible.

    5. Oh my, how wonderfully sanctimonious of you. Wrap yourself in the twin armours of faith and family to demonstrate how unassailably virtuous you are and then proceed to inform readers here of all the things that are wrong with their beliefs because they don’t align with your own myopic worldview. While I can’t speak for others here, I know that I have never once sought to ‘destroy history and rebuild civilization’. I don’t have any idea what you’re even talking about and I’m pretty sure that you don’t either. By all means though, cling as tightly as you need to to your chosen faith if that’s what helps you get through the day. But if you’re ever brave enough to examine your own beliefs more closely you might be surprised to discover that your publicly-funded non-socialist-producing charter school failed to teach you the meaning of hypocrisy.

    6. Totally agree with your comments Adam. These are my top issues with the NDP as well and I cannot understand how people can’t see this. Destruction of the family unit results in the destruction of civilization. And what a better way than to start warping young minds. I hope I’m wrong, but I feel the NDP will will the election and having Irwin and Eggen at the cabinet table really scares me.

    7. Calling drag shows, which have existed for literally hundreds of years and were literally invented by the ruling class that established this patriarchal society you so love “hyper sexualized” tells me that a) you’ve never been to one and b) you read about all this on Facebook. You’re allowed to whip yourself into a nonsensical frenzy about any issue you so wish, we live in a pluralistic society. You cannot expect the rest of us to go along, and most importantly you cannot use the ballot box to enforce morality. Christians do not constitute a majority in alberta and even if they did it would be illegal (and in my opinion IMMORAL) for them to impose their will on everyone else. It’s also not biblical, so bugger off.

    8. Also and you all don’t get this somehow and it drives me crazy LIBERALISM and SOCIAL DEMOCRACY are completely different and COMPETING ideologies. The NDP is not a liberal party, it’s right there in the name for those of you that are confused by anyone left of Adam Smith

    9. You do not own “family”, and you may not require that any of us respect the fairy tales you call “faith”.

      If you want to warp your children with “Christian” “homeschooling”, do it your own dime. Although I think you should not be allowed to do it at all.

    10. Old Albertan make certain they understand that these are not conservatives and they shouldn’t feel bad about not supporting them. The conservatives in my world see nothing conservative about any of them and we haven’t since Ralph Klein claiming he was a Liberal adopted Preston Manning’s stupid Reform Party polices to help him try to pretend he was a Conservative.

      1. Alan K. Spiller: Even my dad, who is a senior, knew that Ralph Klein wasn’t good. He mentioned to me about his clever vote buying, which was timed before a provincial election, over 20 years ago. It stopped after he got elected. Danielle Smith is trying the same thing. One of my dad’s brothers, also didn’t seem too impressed with Ralph Klein. If he were still around, I don’t think he’d be impressed with Danielle Smith either. My dad had brothers who fought in WW2, and in the Korean War, and I don’t think they’d agree with Danielle Smith’s poppy remarks.

    11. Adam I know what my lawyer friends would ask you? What has a drag queen cost you in comparison to what you have allowed these phoney conservatives to do to you? The conservatives in my world don’t go around bashing people who can’t help it, we are thankful we aren’t one of them and have to go through what they do. They need to be accepted. Did they give you the highest power bills in Canada, the highest property taxes, the highest vehicle registration fees, the highest vehicle insurance rates, the highest long term health care fees, the highest school fees, highest day care fees, highest liquor costs and are you going to ignore the $260 billion orphan well cleanup mess they dumped in your lap? Do you accept the fact that they have insulted the 75% of Albertans who have been vaccinated by comparing us to German Nazis, and support criminal convoy truckers? Have they promised to destroy jobs for thousands of Canadians, like RCMP officers and the CBC. Isn’t it too bad you don’t know the difference between a true conservative and a Reformer hellbent on destroying everything our hero Peter Lougheed created for us, so why are you prepared to let them? Teachers will tell you that these private for profit schools hire the cheapest teachers they can find, usually ones who can’t make it in the public sector and only allow exceptional students to go to their schools. They would never put up with these out of control students the public sector has to deal with, but someone has to do it, don’t they?

    12. So, you were at one of Parker’s TBA rallies and drank the kool-aid, eh? Pretty much bullet point on his slander of the NDP. Your fear of the drag show is particularly telling. You know men have been performing as women since the Classical Greeks, at least, right? I see your “lake of fire” and raise you a “province on fire,” which I’ll place squarely on the UCP (with only a little tongue in cheek).

      I hope you come around, the UCP under TBA will really widen your eyes.

  19. Opinion polls are statistical samples, votes are actual counts. The only time I recall it was different was in the Ontario riding of Etobicoke in the 2011 federal election when the close result went to automatic recount which still yielded a very tight range of results because scrutineers couldn’t agree on whether a small number of ballots should be rejected or not: the CPC candidate claimed ineligible votes were cast for the Liberals and the Liberal candidate exercised his right to challenge the resulting, extremely close CPC win in court (at his own expense, over $300K) with respect contested ballots but also in light of the looming “robo-call” controversy (the CPC was busted for sending incorrect voting locations by automated phone messages to voters it figured support rival parties—that is, to prevent them from voting). These irregularities, whatever their actual quality or quantity being germane to the result, the judge ordered a sample of 10% of randomly selected polling stations in the riding to decide the matter (which favoured the CPC candidate). And I went: “Wha—?” An election result is an absolute number of counted votes, not a statistical estimate of some confidence level below 100%. ‘19-times-out-of-20’ is 95%, but today’s often polarized and tight races swing around a number less than that remaining 5%. (For the same reason, I disapprove of mail-in and online voting because the margin of these voting-systems’ unavoidable fraud, as small as it might be, can easily be bigger than the margins of victory or defeat in a very tight race.)

    The CPC would have been re-elected government anyway (2011 was its first and last majority, and, mercifully, its last term in power). But at the time I took great exception to the judge’s method, my position being that if thorough examination of ballots opened a can of worms then it was rather incumbent upon Elections Canada to order a redo for the entire riding. Flipping a coin is reserved for actual counted ties—it should never be used to decide close races.

    Deep down, however, I was worried the HarperCons were angling for another yet precedent to advance its agenda of undermining Canada’s Constitution (for example, bullying the constitutionally impartial Governor General’s office into taking a partisan position on Harper’s improper and unprecedented prorogation demand, among other things) and sovereignty (for example, signing trade-deal terms with China which would override Aboriginal Rights, among other things), and of course the Conservatives’ numerous psephological perfidies (robo-calls, campaign-funding cheating, and cabinet-minister Poilievre’s grossly misnamed “Fair Elections Act,” among other things). Recall Harper bragged to his American backers that when he was done Canada would be unrecognizable.

    However, the tRumpublicans’ desperate resort to undermining trust in the US election system and the Canadian Conservatives’ copy-cat allegation that the Liberals knowingly enjoyed alleged Chinese national operatives’ efforts to defeat CPC candidates in 2021 (i.e., to “steal” victory from the CPC candidate) has tempered my position on that judge’s 2011 decision: he might have anticipated a broader conflagration of distrust in the whole outcome —such as we’ve since seen in the USA’s “stop-the-steal” nonsense —and decided it was better in terms of general trust in our elections to nip this one riding in the bud, albeit in an unusual way. It wouldn’t have affected the CPC victory anyway.

    We have a somewhat similar situation today where former Governor General Johnston will somehow come to a decision about the veracity of CPC allegations that the Liberals knew about Chinese interference in a federal riding but did nothing because, allegedly, their candidate would defeat the CPC candidate because of it. As well, whatever the result in this or similar ridings would not change the Liberals’ cooperation with the federal NDP to form government. In short, my previous position was taken when elections were still considered pristine and sacrosanct, my current one being informed by what is demonstrated when veracity is called into question—even if those questions be totally spurious—or worse, when one party accuses the other of massive voting fraud. tRump, after all, predicted (incorrectly) that the 2016 presidential election would be rigged and kept claiming it even though he won it (by quirk of the Electoral College, tRump actually got 3-million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton), and of course maintains his 2020 defeat was also rigged by the Democrats. The narrative, ongoing as it is, will doubtlessly carry on into the 2024 election. It appears at least a quarter of the US electorate really believes this shite. How long it will persist as partisan-political football or if it’ll get worse is hard to say. It could seriously diminish history’s most powerful global hegemony.

    But that’s about the vote, the absolute, and Alberta’s not quite there yet: it’s still in the overtly statistical phase of the exercise when the questions are —or should be—primarily about which party any voter thinks would make the best government going forward (and maybe what personal qualities the actual candidate has). With regard pre-election polls, a survey respondent might say chi’s going to vote for this party or that but not actually get out and do it. For example, many Albertans can honestly answer that they’d prefer a conservative government, but might not be asked if by that they mean the UCP or if they intend to vote or not. Indeed, many have speculated that some proportion of dyed in the bush conservative-minded citizens will simply stay at home because they disapprove of the UCP but cannot bring themselves to vote for the NDP. That would suggest the UCP polling numbers are less likely to materialize (which might explain the desperate-sounding hyperbole coming from the party and its hacks). To gage how true this might be would require a careful parsing of every survey question in each poll and/or in all aggregated polls, and then guessing how the respondent will behave at some point in the future. It seems to me the UCP was a disaster under Kenney and can’t possibly be better under Smith, but logiv doesn’t always prevail in elections.

    Further, some erstwhile conservative voters might vote NDP in the privacy of the ballot booth, although they’ll never admit it. That’s also a side effect of the UCP’s more threatening belligerents.

    It’s sure looks like Rachel Notley’s NDP will route Danielle Smith’s hapless party, but I’m from BC where we learned a painful lesson by allowing Christy Clark’s BC Liberals one more term, probably because enough NDP supporters were lulled into inaction by the charming pre-election polls as much as the party’s leader though he could therefore get away with a nice, sporting campaign against a perennially nasty opponent. Christy added fully a quarter of BC’s huge debt in just four years.

    Let us assume ‘undecideds’ are very thoughtful. Let us assume every respondent is going to turn out and vote for whomever they said they would. But let’s also understand that as significant number of eligible voters will not vote, including many who say they will. Roughly 40% of eligible voters do not turn out. So let us agree that pre-election polls should be taken with a grain of salt and that turnout is key for victory, especially in tight races like this one has been so far.

    The most obvious reason the BC NDP lost was a terrible “positive politics” campaign the NDP Opposition leader ordered his team to run despite the BC Liberals’ well-known penchant for dirty pool. Less obvious was the extent the presumed 20-point lead caused some NDP supporters to stay home thinking the party had it in the bag. In the recriminatious weeks and months that followed, questions about the trustworthiness of that supposed 20-point NDP lead began to surface: was this 20-point figure purposely inflated precisely to have a complacency effect upon NDP turnout? It’s hard to say if a number of pollsters’ grossly inaccurate forecasts in provincial and federal elections and by-elections recently preceding the 2013 BC contest were suspicious or merely conspicuous, but the fact that this inaccuracy was apparently remedied soon after the question was asked might be a clue. Polling predictions since then have been much more accurate.

    NDP campaign signs are being vandalized in Alberta. Leaving a wrecked sign instead of simply removing it is a kind of threat. One wonders if the perpetrators’ —presumably UCP supporters—consider that a resulting dearth of NDP signs might have a complacency effect on UCP supporters. After all, anybody who really believes Danielle Smith is a capable leader might not really get that many who voted NDP in 2015 did not return to the nominal conservative party in 2019 and a significant number of erstwhile conservatives are openly endorsing the NDP in 2023. I’m sure this’ll all get rehashed after May 29th.

    Finally, the nature of the partisan field in Alberta is such that opportunities to vote tactically to make sure an UCP candidate doesn’t win are fairly scarce. However, it never was a crime—like a lot of right-wing pundits make out—to vote against a party: the partisan right, wedded to tropes, used to tut-tut the idea of tactical voting—‘one is morally bound to vote his or her conscience,’ they would scold, but only because they thought it would preclude tactical voting, a technique that threatens right-wing candidates even today. Except maybe in Alberta where there’s more competition among parties of the right—that is, the right-wing vote comes ready-split in many ridings, much more so than provinces where party diversity is instead on the centre-left.

    Meanwhile, remember that voluntary voting (as opposed to mandatory voting like in Australia where turnouts are regularly north of 90%) means voters themselves are volunteers. And that means, if you want to make darn sure this important Alberta election doesn’t re-elect the worst government it’s ever had, you should make sure to get out to vote.

    Turnout is critical.

  20. Between Danielle Smith and growing scrutiny of David Parker, I suspect Albertans (in cities!) are getting more nervous about the prospect of a UCP/ Take Back Alberta frankenparty. Here’s more reasons why, courtesy of National Newswatch:

    Is anybody willing to look this guy up on YouTube? I can’t force myself to watch political videos.

  21. I believe that time will work against the UCP and to the NDP’s favour.

    Perhaps it is simply wishful thinking. More and more former PCer’s that I know are saying that they will cross and vote NDP. Their dislike of Danielle Smith is second only to their dislike that the TBA is controlling ‘their’ Party. It has taken a little while for some to get to that place.

  22. Normally, this would be good news, but these aren’t normal times, and this is no normal election. The fact that 40, 41, 45 or whatever the percentage is would vote for batshit crazy lady is beyond frightening. It’s the stuff of nightmare. There has always been 10-15% fringe radicals, but what about the rest? To think that many people 35-45% of electors would support the UCP after everything that’s happened in the last four years defies comprehension. Four to five out of ten people (eligible voters) I see walking around, or driving, or shopping plan to vote for her? It’s enough to drive me into agoraphobia. There truly is no hope for humanity.

  23. Adam—

    Quoting PP’S obnoxious hyperbole about ” insanely radical left wing ideology which seeks to destroy history and rebuild civilization ” when he’s talking about–the new Canadian passport– is a strange new twist on mixed messaging.
    Discombobulated much ???

    And for you to imply that NDPers do not believe in faith and family, makes me think you are a religious zealot, but one who believes that only your specific beliefs are the right ones. which you highlight with your statement that “they will brainwash them as liberal “.
    I’ve always thought that the whole point of public schools was to give “ALL” children the opportunity to gain an education, not just the money entitled ones. If by liberal you mean well rounded and all encompassing and teaching the children to be able to stand up and make their own informed decisions about their lives, instead of being constrained to a narrow view point, that’s not an NDP exclusivity, it’s what the vast majority of people, Canadians and all the children who come here from around the world, because they want the chance to study and learn.

    On that note, an “aha, lightbulb moment ” earlier today, question: just exactly when did the ‘Progressive Conservative’ party , just become the ‘Conservative party of Canada’..???
    Adams statement is just that, the progress has been taken out, and as my sister* pointed out , if you’re not making progress, you’re sedentary, or you’re retrogressive, and I believe we’ve come to far to be dragged back into the dark ages.
    (*and I value my family very much)

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