The Alberta NDP is doubling down on Premier Rachel Notley’s popularity by emphasizing the leader over the party.
Since November, the party has been announcing its candidates for the upcoming (but date yet-to-be-announced) election and posting their photos on Twitter.
But instead of an NDP logo in the corner, each photo features Notley’s name.
A recent poll suggests this may be a smart strategy for the NDP.
The lastest Mainstreet research poll showed the United Conservative Party has a 22.9 per cent lead over the NDP (48 per cent for the UCP, 25.1 per cent for the NDP).
But when asked whether they have a favourable or unfavorable opinion of the two leaders, the results are much closer (36.9 per cent favorability for Notley, 39.7 per cent for Kenney).
The poll surveyed 898 Albertans between Jan. 15 and 16, and has a 3.28 margin of error.
Quito Maggi, CEO of Mainstreet Research, said how Albertans perceive potential leaders may play a bigger role than party alliances on election day.
“A predictor of what will happen on election day is the favorability that we saw between Rachel Notley and Jason Kenney,” said Maggi, “not so much what we’re seeing on the party level.”
In a statement to Global News, Roari Richardson, the provincial secretary for Alberta’s NDP, said the logo is not new.
“This is not new branding; in fact, we’ve used the Rachel Notley logo for a number of years,” said Richardson. “Every election campaign is different but it will always reflect who we are and what our party stands for.”
This isn’t the first time a party has focused its branding on the leader.
The former Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta adopted the brand “Ralph’s Team” during the 1993 election.