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Alberta NDP projected to win majority government in 2023

First time since the election they’re projected to win, with forecasts of sweeping Edmonton, taking 70% of Calgary, and gaining 7 seats elsewhere.

Two electoral projection sites recently updated their forecasts for the next Alberta provincial general election, and both show the NDP within majority territory for the first time since the 2019 election.

Popular vote

The first was 338Canada, who updated last Saturday. Their models project the Alberta NDP receiving 44.2% of the popular vote in the next provincial election. The UCP are in second place with 39.7%.

In third place, 338Canada has lumped the Independence Party of Alberta with the Wildrose Independence Party, which are separate parties. They place this pairing at 8.2% of the popular vote, give or take 3.2%. Alberta Party is at 5%, with everyone else at less than 2% each.

In their December update, 338Canada had UCP in the lead at 42.2% of the popular vote, with the NDP at 39.9%, the Alberta Party at 8.6%, and the Independence Party at 6.5%. WIP wasn’t in that update.

JanuaryDecember
NDP44.2%39.9%
UCP39.7%42.2%
IPA/WIP8.2%6.5%
AP5.0%8.6%

This shows not only that 338Canada has the NDP leading for the first time in their projections, but their popular vote projection is higher than what the UCP had in December. It’s the opposite for the UCP: their new projection is lower than the NDP’s was in December.

Also for the first time, the Alberta Party are no longer the third party. That goes to the Wildrose Independence Party, thanks to a new Mainstream poll last week showing them surging in popularity.

The margin of error for both the NDP and UCP updated projections is ±6.3%, which means there’s still quite a bit of overlap between the two parties, so nothing is yet guaranteed. Plus, there’s still more than 2 years until the next election: a lot can happen.

The second update came this week from LeanTossup. Their models project the Alberta NDP receiving 47.4% of the popular vote in the next provincial election. The UCP are in second place with 39.7%.

In November, LeanTossup had the NDP and UCP both at 38%.

This week’s update saw them give the IPA 6.2% (down from 7% in November), the Alberta Party 9% (same with November), and the Liberal Party 2.6% (down from 8%).

LeanTossup’s projections are based on 10,000 simulations, with 71.9% of them predicting an NDP majority, and 27.8% predicting a UCP majority. The likelihood of either party getting the most votes but less than a majority is less than 0.5%.

Summary: NDP win the popular vote

Seat projection

As far as seat projection goes, 338Canada projects—based on the latest polling data—that the NDP could win 47 seats in the next election, which would give them a majority government. The current makeup of the legislature requires only 44 seats for a majority, so it’d be barely a majority. The NDP currently hold 24 seats. This would virtually double their seat count.

The UCP, on the other hand, are projected to win 40 seats, so they’d just barely miss forming government. They currently hold 63 seats, so that’d be a loss of 23, or a little more than a third.

338Canada has yet to project any other parties winning seats in the next election.

The margin of error for the seat projections is 14.5—there’s lots of wiggle room left for both parties, including one possibility being the NDP winning 62 seats. That’s pretty much what the UCP has now, and more than the 54 they won the 2015 election with.

338Canada’s projections are based on 50,000 simulations, with 68% predicting the NDP winning a majority of the seats and 32% predicting the UCP winning a majority. Although the NDP’s odds of winning the most seats has been climbing since last August, this is the first time the party has passed the UCP in the projections.

LeanTossup projects similar results: 48 seats for the NDP and 39 for the UCP. This compares to 43 and 43 last November, with 1 going to the Liberals (a handful of polls between May and July last year had the Liberals in third place, which threw off the projections in November; they haven’t placed that high since July.)

Here’s how the seat projections compare to December’s numbers:

338Canada
January
LeanTossup
January

338Canada
December
LeanTossup
December
NDP47484043
UCP40394743

Summary: NDP win the most seats.

Popular vote by region

As far as voter intention by region goes, according to 338Canada, the NDP lead in both of the large cities: 48% in Calgary and 63% in Edmonton (compared to 37% and 23% for the UCP).

The UCP leads in the north (49%), central (53%), and south (48%) regions.

IPA/WIP are in 3rd place in all regions, but they are 10% or above outside of Calgary and Edmonton.

Seats by region

Here’s how the seats break down by region, according to 338Canada:

CGYEDMNorthCentralSouth
NDP projected18.520.92.82.12.8
UCP projected7.50.111.211.99.2
NDP current320001
UCP current231151311

And LeanTossup’s seat projections by region:

CGYEDMNorthCentralSouth
NDP projected1921413
UCP projected7011129
NDP current320001
UCP current231151311

So, the numbers are pretty similar. Now, let’s look at the changes to specific seats in the 5 regions.

Calgary

The NDP are set to win 19 of the 26 available seats in Calgary, leaving only 7 for the UCP. They have just 3 at the moment: Calgary–Buffalo, Calgary–McCall, and Calgary–Mountain View.

The only Calgary riding that 338Canada thinks is a safe win for the NDP is Calgary–Currie. Here are the other 15 ridings:

RidingCurrent MLA2019
vote
Status
Calgary–AcadiaTyler Shandro54.3%NDP likely
Calgary–BeddingtonJosephine Pon53.1%NDP likely
Calgary–BowDemetrios Nicolaides55.9%NDP likely
Calgary–CrossMickey Amery54.3%NDP likely
Calgary–EastPeter Singh49.7%NDP likely
Calgary–EdgemontPrasad Panda52.8%NDP likely
Calgary–FalconridgeDevinder Toor45.6%NDP likely
Calgary–KleinJeremy Nixon47.6%NDP likely
Calgary–NortheastRajan Sawhney49.3%NDP likely
Calgary–VarsityJason Copping46.2%NDP likely
Calgary–FoothillsJason Luan57.0%NDP leaning
Calgary–GlenmoreWhitney Issik55.6%NDP leaning
Calgary–NorthMuhammad Yaseen55.2%NDP leaning
Calgary–NorthwestSonya Savage56.7%NDP leaning
Calgary–ElbowDoug Schweitzer44.3%Toss up

The UCP should be able to hold onto

  • Calgary–Hays
  • Calgary–Lougheed
  • Calgary–Shaw
  • Calgary–Southeast
  • Calgary–West

These are all listed as “UCP likely”. As well, Calgary–Fish Creek and Calgary–Peigan are both listed as “toss up” but lean slightly toward the UCP.

LeanTossup had the NDP winning the same ridings as 338Canada.

Edmonton

Both 338Canada and LeanTossup show the NDP sweeping the Edmonton ridings. These include the 20 ridings in Edmonton and 1 in St. Albert.

Currently, the UCP holds just Edmonton–Southwest in this region, which is held by Kaycee Madu, the minister of justice. He won with 44.95% of the vote, beating out the NDP candidate by only 706 votes. 338Canada has the NDP winning 49.6% of the vote here and the UCP only 36.6%.

The only other riding that might be close is St. Albert, currently held by the NDP’s Marie Renaud. 338Canada has it as NDP likely, instead of NDP safe, with Renaud capturing 53.7% of the vote and the UCP 31.3%.

North

The NDP currently hold no ridings in the North region, but 338Canada has them winning 3:

RidingCurrent MLA2019
vote
Status
Sherwood ParkJordan Walker45.4%NDP leaning
Fort Saskatchewan-VegrevilleJackie Armstrong–Homeniuk53.6%Toss up
Morinville-St. AlbertDale Nally50.0%Toss up

The 2 toss ups are leaning NDP (40.9% and 43.5%, respectively) at the moment. 338Canada also considers the Lesser Slave Lake riding a toss up, but with the UCP taking a slight lead with 44.1%.

LeanTossup agrees with 338Canada for this region, except they project an NDP win in Lesser Slave Lake, in addition to the other 3.

Central

As in the North region, the Central region has no current NDP MLAs.

Stratchona–Sherwood Park is the only riding in the Central region that 338Canada projects going to the NDP in the next election. It’s held by Nate Glubish of the UCP, who won it in 2019 with 52.5% of the vote. 338Canada lists it as a toss up with NDP leading slightly at 41.9%.

For reference, 3 other ridings in the region are listed as toss ups, but with razor-thin UCP leads:

UCPNDP
Leduc–Beaumont40.9%39.9%
Red Deer–South41.0%38.3%
Spruce Grove–Stony Plain41.7%41.5%

So, while the NDP lead in only 1 riding in the region, according to 338Canada, there are at least 3 others that could potentially flip from the UCP to NDP.

All 4 of the above ridings are held by UCP MLAs.

LeanTossup has NDP winning only Stratchona–Sherwood Park in the Central region at this point.

South

Lethbridge–West is the only riding the NDP hold outside of the Calgary and Edmonton areas. It’s held byShannon Phillips, former environment minister, who beat the PC incumbent MLA in 2015 for the seat. She re-won the seat in 2019, but with only 45.2% of the vote, beating the UCP candidate, Karri Flatla, by only 226 votes.

338Canada has Phillips holding onto her seat in 2023, with current modelling giving her 56.1% of the vote, compared to the UCP at 27.6%. They also project wins in two more ridings in the South region: Lethbridge–East and Banff-Kananaskis.

Banff-Kananaskis is listed as “NDP likely”, but Lethbridge-East is listed as a toss-up, with the NDP having a slight lead: 43.3% compared to 41% for the UCP. While the lead isn’t great, 338Canada has been projecting an NDP win in Lethbridge–East with every update since last June, including a 60–61% chance of winning with every update since August.

The NDP won Lethbridge–East in 2015 with 47.5% of the vote, when Maria Fitzpatrick won the empty seat after Bridget Pastoor (PC) stepped down. Nathan Neudorf won it in 2019 with 52.4%, outperforming Fitzpatrick’s 38.7%. Fitzpatrick has confirmed that she intends to run in 2023.

LeanTossup also projects wins in these 3 ridings.

Summary: NDP sweeps Edmonton and Lethbridge, takes 71% of Calgary seats, and gains 7 seats in all remaining regions. UCP sweeps Red Deer, holds onto some Edmonton suburb seats, and still retains the 3 regions outside Calgary and Edmonton as their stronghold.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 4 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I am a political economy student at the University of Athabasca, working on my second undergrad degree.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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