Alberta: What 2019 Says About 2023

April 20th, 2019  | R. Rados
alberta 2023

Looking at the final numbers in the Alberta election reveals that the NDP didn't lose any support from the 2015 election. In fact, they gained 10,000 votes. Alberta's conservative movement is stronger than ever before, with over one million votes—but the Alberta Party also surged, despite not winning any seats. Combined, Alberta's left-leaning parties are also stronger than ever before. It's also important to note that voter turnout will probably never reach 71% again—or, at least, not again for another twenty years. This could make Alberta's 2023 election very interesting.

Nearly two million Albertans voted in 2019. The NDP increased their share by roughly 10,900 votes from 2015. That's almost nothing compared to the United Conservatives, who improved their vote share by 256,000 from 2015 (Wildrose and PCs). Making even bigger gains was the Alberta Party, which increased its vote share by 137,000 from only 33,000 in 2015.

The Alberta Party Won Big, But It Wasn't Enough

The Alberta Party quadrupled their 2015 numbers in 2019, despite losing a high profile seat in Calgary. To say the Alberta Party is finished would be premature. If they can maintain their 2019 support, they could surge in 2023 if the other parties fail to match their 2019 numbers—which they most likely will.

With a 400% increase in support from 2015, it's likely that Stephen Mandel will stay on as the Alberta Party's leader. However, the failure to win any seats this time might drain enthusiasm and cash out of the Alberta Party between now and 2023, meaning the party could fade into obscurity over the next few years.

The NDP Did Not Decline

Judging by the seat tally and the overall approval of the NDP in Alberta, you would assume the party has lost significant support from 2015. Unfortunately, they haven't. The party improved their numbers by nearly 11,000.

If the NDP were to repeat their numbers from 2015 or 2019, they could prove to be stiff competition against the UCP in 2023.By unexpectedly improving their raw votes from 2015, I wouldn't put it past them to keep their party's turnout high in 2023.

Conservatives Are Back, But The NDP Will Return

With a historic number of raw votes, Jason Kenney's United Conservatives have a strong mandate. However, assuming they can repeat a one million vote win in 2023 is a stretch. Overall turnout will likely sink back to the 50% range and conservative numbers will level off at around 700,000—only 100,000 more than the NDP's 2015 and 2019 numbers.

All of this will make the 2023 election a nail-biter, guaranteed. If the UCP runs into some serious scandals, we should expect the NDP to do very well.

The moral of the story: don't count out a resurgent NDP in 2023.