Is Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party still inevitable winner of Alberta vote April 16, like Doug Ford PCs in Ontario?

Mar 20th, 2019 | By | Category: Canadian Provinces

The two main contenders : Rachel Notley NDP and Jason Kenney UCP.

Yesterday Premier Rachel Notley finally announced that Alberta’s long-anticipated provincial election will be held some four weeks hence, on Tuesday, April 16!

Opinion polls have long been showing that former Stephen Harper federal cabinet minister Jason Kenney’s new United Conservative Party is well ahead of Premier Notley’s New Democrats. And a “new poll from Ipsos,” released yesterday morning, “suggests Alberta’s UCP have a lead over the NDP leading up to the 2019 election.”

(In the Edmonton capital area the two major parties are neck and neck. In Calgary and especially in rural Alberta the UCP still has big leads.)

Most recently a few controversies over Mr. Kenney’s UCP have at least given Ms Notley’s New Democrats a little new hope.

(See, eg : “Jeff Callaway campaign may have breached election law with services from Kenney campaign” ; “Keith Gerein: UCP leadership revelations a scandal of ethics, integrity and hypocrisy”; “What really happened inside the Alberta UCP’s ‘kamikaze’ campaign” ; “Inside Alberta’s ‘House of Cards’ scandal” ; “Star UCP candidate who resigned over white supremacist comments also questioned value of Pride parades” ; “Communication among leadership campaigns not unusual, says Jason Kenney.”)

The smart money is still saying that this is Mr. Kenney’s election to lose. And he is a more experienced, seasoned, and intellectually heavy-weight conservative political leader than Premier Ford in Ontario.

Three more also running (l to r) : Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel, Freedom Conservative Party leader Derek Fildebrandt, Alberta Liberal leader David Khan.

He has nonetheless lately been playing the usual mindless right-wing populist games to which conservatives across the country (and elsewhere) seem attracted at the moment.

And it is at least interesting to think that, in the current Canadian political confusion almost everywhere, there is at least a slightly greater chance than there was a month ago that the very hard-working Rachel Notley could finally do as well as her fellow New Democrat John Horgan managed next door in beautiful BC, back in the spring of 2017.

Whatever else, the forthcoming April 16 provincial election in Alberta is one of the two really big Canadian political events this year.

Political junkies across the country are bound to pay special attention. (And we’re no exception here! Stay tuned etc.)

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