Nenshi is what Alberta needs and is the only one that can save our CPP from TBA’s/UCP’s/Smith’s dirty fingers aiming to give our pensions to rich oil and gas companies to frac to dust.

Nenshi’s leadership would boost voter support for Alberta NDP: poll, Nenshi holds a unique, personalizing appeal that extends beyond partisanship, said MRU political scientist Lori Williams by Bill Kaufmann, Mar 14, 2024, Calgary Herald

Naheed Nenshi
NDP leadership candidate Naheed Nenshi poses for a photo after speaking at an Alberta Chambers of Commerce event in Edmonton on Thursday, March 14, 2024. David Bloom/Postmedia

A Naheed Nenshi-led Alberta NDP would boost the party’s fortunes among voters, with nearly a quarter of UCP supporters looking favourably on that prospect, according to a new poll.

The Leger online poll of 1,001 respondents conducted March 8 to 11, just before the former Calgary mayor announced his bid Monday to replace NDP Leader Rachel Notley, shows 40 per cent of Albertans would be more likely to vote for the party.

At the same time, 32 per cent said they’d be less likely to vote for the NDP with Nenshi at its helm.

That indicates the leadership candidate’s polarizing nature but nonetheless suggests an eight per cent net positive, said Andrew Enns, Leger’s executive vice-president for central Canada.

That’s the same advantage — 49 per cent to 41 per cent — enjoyed by the UCP in the same poll.

“It was pretty polarizing but he’s not going to hurt the NDP. Their supporters will stay with them by and large,” he said.

“What’s really interesting is that nearly a quarter of UCP voters are saying ‘we’ll kick the tires around this guy,’ and Nenshi could look at that and say ‘I could add some votes.’ ”

Former Calgary mayor could make a difference among city’s voters

Also significant, said Enns, is that Calgary voters, by a 16 per cent margin, would be more likely to support the NDP if it were led by Nenshi, who served as the city’s mayor for three terms, from 2010 to 2021.

If that held true until the next provincial election in 2027, it could make the difference for the NDP in the crucial Calgary battleground where the party lost some races in 2023 by a slim margin, said the pollster.

“That’s where you look at Nenshi’s leadership making a difference, and it doesn’t take a lot,” said Enns.

The poll also suggests the ex-Calgary mayor could bolster NDP fortunes in its Edmonton bastion.

Nenshi unique, potentially polarizing as a candidate

While it remains to be seen if the NDP will choose Nenshi in the leadership race that ends June 22, he holds a unique, personalizing appeal that extends beyond partisanship, said Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams.

“He doesn’t have the ready-made relationships and contacts within the NDP, so his (winning the leadership) isn’t a slam dunk,” said Williams.

“But Nenshi has the ability to reach across divisions . . . he really makes people feel important, in person and on social media.”

But Nenshi’s perceived arrogance has the potential to drive away voters, said Williams.

The UCP also say the high-profile candidate is guided by anger, following his condemnation of the governing party as “incompetent, immoral and dangerous.”That’s not anger. That’s intelligence and truth talking.

Nenshi looks to appeal to Conservative voters

As he kicked off his campaign this week, Nenshi appealed to Conservative voters, insisting their values are more akin to his and invoking the name of former Progressive Conservative premier Peter Lougheed.

Nenshi’s leadership would likely boost NDP fortunes, said University of Calgary political scientist Doreen Barrie.

And the ex-Calgary mayor could be seen as the best person to capitalize on a demographically-changing Alberta growing tired of the UCP’s often fruitless fights with Ottawaand UCP’s serving themselves and law-violating polluting oil, gas, frac, bitumen and coal companies over Albertans, and UCP’s anger, arrogance, ignorance, lies, and abuses to the marginalized while favouring the rich and whiteshe said.

Nenshi also offers considerable appeal among those who believe he’d trounce Premier Danielle Smith in a televised debate, she added.

He’s vying for the NDP leadership against Edmonton MLAs Rakhi Pancholi, Sarah Hoffman and Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse, along with Calgary MLA Kathleen Ganley and Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan.

Leger says the margin of error for the poll’s total Alberta sample is no greater than plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

A few of the comments:

Charlie Smith:

No way, we cant afford Nenshi! He’d blow money on things like failing health care and education. We need those smart fiscal UCP hawks to wisely spend money on pipelines to nowhere, failed privatization of lab services, terminated rail contracts, a war room, Turkish Tylenol, 4 layers of bureaucracy at AHS, a third police force and the APP.An APP that most Albertans are loudly saying they don’t want. Nenshi is the only one that can save our CPP from TBA’s/Smith’s corrupt fingers aiming to give our pensions away to rich oil, gas and frac companies, leaving us ordinary citizens never to see a penny of them again.

David Thompson:

I hope [Smith] is negotiating to get her old job back as a conspiracy promoting radio host and/or looking for a diner to wash dishes for because her current job as premier is looking to be coming to an end.

Refer also to:

Bob Sacamano: “Nenshi will wipe the floor with Smith and her TBA bosses.”

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