Alberta election hinges on Calgary, younger voters: research

New data from the Angus Reid Institute says the upcoming 2023 Alberta election race “hinges significantly” on the Calgary battleground and the turnout of younger voters across the province.

The study, which included a randomized survey of more than 1,300 Albertans, was released Wednesday, and has the UCP ahead by eight points in voter intent, but in a statistical tie with the NDP.

Blue voters tend to be those over the age of 54, according to the research firm, which is a group historically more likely to show up at the polls.

Younger demographics have shown to favour the NDP, but are not as solid when it comes to voter turnout.

So, researchers say an orange wave may not happen if those under the age of 35 fail to turn out to vote.

In the 2019 election, 23 of Calgary’s 26 seats went to the UCP, cementing the party’s majority win alongside wins in 35 of the 36 rural seats.

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Angus Reid says if the New Democrats want to form government in Alberta, they have to capture the votes of Calgarians and flip the seats that went blue four years ago.

Other information gathered from the research, showed NDP leader Rachel Notley has a 10-point favourability advantage over UCP leader Danielle Smith in Calgary.

Additionally, 40 per cent of Albertans say their opinion of Smith has worsened in recent weeks, and that number rises to 44 per cent in Calgary.

Just over half of those surveyed say their view of Notley has neither improved nor worsened in recent weeks.

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