Alberta Party saw a spike in Google searches during and after leaders' debate

People collectively turned to Google to search "Alberta Party" during and after the leaders debate last week.

UCP Leader Jason Kenney remains the most searched-for leader of any party

Party leaders Jason Kenney, David Khan, Rachel Notley and Stephen Mandel pose before the start of the leaders debate last week in Edmonton. (Codie McLachlan/The Canadian Press)

It might have been the relatively unfamiliar party name, or possibly that zinger from Stephen Mandel about "smoking things that you shouldn't have been smoking."

Either way, Albertans collectively turned to Google to search for "Alberta Party" during and after the leaders' debate last week.

Interest in the party surged more than interest in the Liberal Party, the UCP and the NDP on Thursday, according to Google Trends, which tracks the popularity of search terms and ranks them on a scale from zero to 100.

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During the debate, Alberta Party scored 100, Liberal Party scored 48, UCP scored 38 and NDP scored 29 among queries originating from Alberta.

Interest in the Alberta surged during and after leaders debate (Google Trends)

Searches for "Alberta Party" remained ahead of those for the other parties, even when taking into account spelling and name variations such as "Alberta New Democrats" and "United Conservative Party."

"The other thing that's interesting is that post-debate, Alberta Party interest stayed higher than the other parties," said Dana DiTomaso, president of the Edmonton-based digital marketing firm Kick Point.

The Alberta Liberals are selling hats and T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan #LayingPipe. (AlbertaLiberal.com)

The results seem to suggest the party benefited most from the participation of Mandel, the Alberta Party's leader, DiTomaso told CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

"I think they're keeping that momentum, which is key," she said.

"You can say something funny during the debate, like David Khan who has hats he's selling now with '#LayingPipe' on them, but I don't necessarily think that the momentum is staying though, whereas the Alberta Party is definitely keeping that momentum."

Kenney remains most searched leader

While Liberal Leader David Khan enjoyed a small bump in interest after the debate, UCP Leader Jason Kenney remains the most searched-for leader of any party.

Searches for David Khan spiked after the leaders debate but Jason Kenney retains the top spot in searches about the party leaders. (Google Trends)

Spike in searches for Adler interview

Four of the five top breakout related searches for Jason Kenney involved his radio interview with Charles Adler, during which the Global broadcaster grilled Kenney about the UCP's affiliation with homophobic and anti-choice rhetoric. 

Many Albertans also turned to Google to look up the party leaders' ages. "David Khan age," "Stephen Mandel age" and "How old is Jason Kenney" are all listed among the breakout related queries.

About the Author

Falice Chin

CBC Edmonton

Falice is the senior producer of the Cost of Living on CBC Radio. Her international work has appeared in the Financial Times, the National Post, Zacks Investment Research, CBC and others. She's won an RTDNA for investigative journalism in Canada and a World Summit Award for Arab e-content. You can reach her at: falice.chin@cbc.ca


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