Nenshi’s NDP leadership win fails to shift public opinion 

According to a new Abacus Data poll, the governing UCP still has a 14-point lead over the New Democrats under their new leader, Naheed Nenshi.

Nenshi’s NDP leadership win fails to shift public opinion 

The poll comes just days after Nenshi won Alberta’s NDP leadership race in a landslide, winning 86% of the votes.

The Abacus Data survey polled 1,000 Albertans aged 18 and over. 

“Despite Nenshi’s landslide victory, he finds himself still well behind, and clearly lots of work to do if he hopes to be the premier in over three years when the next election comes around,” said Abacus Data’s CEO, David Coletto.

Prior to winning the leadership race, a March 18 update from Pallas Data suggested that the UCP would win a majority government over every single one of the candidates— including then-front runner Nenshi.

Colette further said that the federal NDP, under (champagne-socialist) Jagmeet Singh, has hurt the brand of Alberta NDP. 

“The biggest hurdle for the Alberta NDP is the fact that there’s large numbers of Albertans in many parts of the province who wouldn’t even consider voting NDP,” Coletto said. 

The poll also reveals shifts in Calgary and Edmonton since Nenshi’s win, with the NDP narrowing the gap with the UCP in Calgary from eight points in March to four points. But, the NDP’s former 11 point lead in Edmonton has shrunk to two.

Outside of Calgary and Edmonton, the UCP leads by a staggering 34 points.

“Mr. Nenshi has work to do in the province outside of Calgary,” Coletto said. 

11 years as Calgary mayor

In 2010, Nenshi became the first Muslim mayor of a large North American city. He won three Calgary elections before announcing he would not to seek re-election in 2021, when he was later succeeded by Jyoti Gondek.

The 11-year Calgary mayor recently declared his opposition to Premier Smith’s intention to ban hormone therapy and puberty blockers to children who think they are transgender. Nenshi criticized Premier Smith’s policy announcements as “punching down on vulnerable children.” 

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