Saturday, 26 January 2019

Alberta 87

Albertan voters are scheduled to head to the polls in the coming spring. Rachel Notley, Alberta Premier since 2015, has a steep hill to climb in order to win reelection: not only does she have a record to defend, but she now has to face a united conservative challenger.

Since the election is still months away, data on voting intentions of Albertans is rather scarce, but polls conducted in the last six months or so all showed the same basic tendencies: 1) the NDP has lost some ground since the 2015 election (it is polling somewhere between the low 30s and high 20s), and 2) the UCP has, at least so far, amassed most of the PC and Wildrose support under one banner.

Here are the polls:




By breaking down polls by regions and taking into account the electoral history and demographics of Alberta voters, the 338Canada electoral model calculates voting intentions and seat projections - with uncertainty* - province wide.

[*The term "margin of error" is most commonly used in colloquial speech, but it has a very specific definition in the field of statistics, especially with polls using random samples. The term "uncertainty" is generally more appropriate for these types of projections.]

Taking into account the data currently available, here is the 338Canada Alberta Popular Vote Projection for January 26th 2019:



Unsurprisingly, the United Conservative Party leads the way with an average projection of 51% of support. Considering that, back in 2015, the Wildrose and PC parties had combined for 52% of the vote (24.2% and 27.8%, respectively), we can safely conclude - at least for the time being - that Jason Kenney has successfully managed the post merger right of centre party.

Rachel Notley's New Democratic Party is currently projected at an average of 30.5% of support, down significantly from her 2015 result of 40.6%.

It remains to be seen whether the smaller parties can hold their poll numbers all the way to the ballot box, but so far the Alberta Party stands at 7.9%; the Alberta Liberals at 5.4%


With such a overwhelming lead in voting intentions, it is no surprise that the UCP is currently heavily favoured to win the next Alberta election. Here is the 338Canada Alberta Seat Projection:



Out of the 87 districts of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, the UCP is currently projected to win between 60 and 80 of them (far beyond the threshold of 44 seats for a majority) with a seat average of 69.5 seats.

The governing NDP would be reduced to its strongholds in and around Edmonton, and not much else. This projection has the NDP at an average of 16.3 seats.

The model ran 50k simulations and the UCP won a majority of seats in every single one of them. There is no doubt, according to the data currently available, that the next Alberta election is the UCP's to lose. It would take both a dramatic turnaround of the NDP's fortune and several major stumbles by the UCP to change this projection.

Of course, opinion polls do not vote, and there are still several months to go before the campaign begins. I will follow the numbers closely over the coming months and, of course, will update the Alberta projection as we approach election day.

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All 87 district projections are available here:





Philippe J. Fournier is the creator of Qc125 and 338Canada. He teaches physics and astronomy at Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal. For information or media request, please write to info@Qc125.com.


Philippe J. Fournier est le créateur de Qc125 et 338Canada. Il est professeur de physique et d'astronomie au Cégep de Saint-Laurent à Montréal. Pour toute information ou pour une demande d'entrevue médiatique, écrivez à info@Qc125.com.