Is there an undeclared race underway to become leader of the Alberta NDP?
An interactive voice response poll calling Albertans on February 11 suggests there just might be. The automated phone poll conducted by the Toronto-based Research House began with innocuous questions aimed at gauging opinions about the current Progressive Conservative government and other political party leaders, but it soon shifted toward questions about the NDP leadership.
First asking for the approval or disapproval ratings of Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MLA Rachel Notley and Edmonton-Calder NDP MLA David Eggen, the auto-pollster then questioned whether they would vote for an NDP led by Mr. Eggen.
Here is the audio of the question:
It has been suspected for months that current NDP leader Brian Mason could retire before the next election (he has served as leader since 2004), but, if this is a legitimate poll, this may be the first public evidence we have that his potential successors are testing the waters… or kicking-tires.
A teacher and public health care advocate, Mr. Eggen served his first-term as MLA from 2004 to 2008 and returned for a second term in 2012. Both Mr. Eggen and Ms. Notley are experienced opposition MLAs and would be formidable candidates for their party’s leadership. The NDP last held a contested leadership race in the mid-1990s.