Calgary-Greenway byelection race tight, according to poll

A recent poll suggests the PCs could hold on to the seat vacated by late MLA Manmeet Bhullar, but the race is tight.

Seat left vacant after the death of Manmeet Bhullar could stay in the PC fold

Calgary-Greenway voters are choosing an MLA after Manmeet Bhullar was killed in a highway accident last November. (Dean Bennett/Canadian Press)

A recent poll suggests the PCs could hold on to the seat vacated by late MLA Manmeet Bhullar, but the race is tight. 

The poll shows the PCs leading the pack with 27 per cent support, followed by the NDP at 22 per cent, the Wildrose at 19 per cent and the Liberals at 17 per cent. 

Among decided voters the order stays the same, with 31 per cent supporting the PCs, 24 per cent backing the NDP, 22 per cent for the Wildrose and the Liberals coming in at 21 per cent. 

Lurking behind the numbers are the intentions of undecided voters, the majority of which — 14 per cent — are leaning towards the Liberals.

Rounding out that category are the PCs with 13 per cent, the Wildrose at 8 per cent and the NDP with 1 per cent.

"It looks like a four-way race may be underway in Calgary-Greenway with a byelection less than two weeks
away," wrote Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research, in a press release. 

The byelection was called in order to fill the seat left vacant when former PC cabinet minister Bhullar was killed on the Queen Elizabeth Highway last November.

The economy

Not surprisingly, the economy is top of mind for Greenway voters according to the mainstreet poll, with 47 per cent saying it's the most pressing issue in the byelection.

The second topic occupying minds in the riding are taxes, at 12 per cent, followed by energy at 11 per cent. 

As for what's causing the economic pain in Alberta? Most voters blame reliance on oil (29 per cent), and the low price of oil (21 per cent).

However, 19 per cent think it's the fault of the NDP government, while 11 per cent lay blame at the feet of the previous PC regime.

When it comes to Premier Rachel Notley's performance, Calgary-Greenway voters are evenly split.. 

"Rachel Notley's approval in Calgary-Greenway is substantially better than previous province-wide results a month ago," wrote Maggi. 

"Total approval is 42 per cent vs. 42 per cent total disapproval, these results should be encouraging for the Premier and the NDP."

Implications of vote

Maggi also suggests a win for the PCs in Greenway could stall unite-the-right talks and says if the NDP manages to entice Liberal voters as it did in the 2015 election, the ruling party could win the race. 

"Such a win would be good news for Rachel Notley who has faced increased criticism as the economy continues to under-perform," Maggi wrote.

On March 9, 523 voters in Calgary-Greenway were contacted for an interactive voice response (IVR) poll through a mix of landllines and cell phones. 

The results were weighed by age and gender.

The byelection will take place on March 22. 


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