Alberta’s Progressive Future (APF) said it is time for the provincial NDP to begin exploring the potential benefits of a name change. “While the Alberta NDP is already completely autonomous from the federal party, sharing the same name as the federal party creates confusion for the average Alberta voter,” said APF spokesperson Brian Malkinson in a Wednesday press release. “This confusion is very effectively exploited by the UCP (United Conservative Party) and will continue to be for as long as the provincial party has the same name as the Federal NDP.”.Janet Brown Opinion Research (JBOR) carried out polling on behalf of APF from September 13 to 26, with the results indicating a few key points. JBOR said half of respondents think the federal NDP has some or a great deal of influence on the Alberta NDP. It found 12% of them could vote for the Alberta NDP, but they do not support it at this time. Another 12% are unlikely to vote for it, but they would vote for a centre or centre-left party. Based on this poll, it could be missing out on as many as 24% of people within its voter universe. While the results of this poll do not prove a rebranding of the Alberta NDP would lead to more votes for it, APF said it does show there are many people in its voter universe that did not support it in the recent election. At the same time, it said the polling shows about half of all voters have an incorrect assumption about the level of influence the federal NDP has on the policies of its Alberta affiliate. Since support for the federal NDP has been low with about one-fifth of people voting for it, the assumed influence of it on the provincial NDP might be a considerable millstone. It intends to further explore the reasons why so many accessible voters chose not to vote for the Alberta NDP. Its intention to support the possibility of a name change is supported by 2023 Alberta NDP candidates Taneen Rudyk (Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville), Michelle Baer (Red Deer-South), Rosman Valencia (Calgary-East), Michael Lisboa-Smith (Calgary-North West), Andrew Stewart (Calgary-Hays), and David Cloutier (Calgary-Shaw). Malkinson concluded by saying voters believing Alberta NDP policy is written in Ottawa rather than in Alberta “is especially unhelpful to candidates outside the big cities.” He called for it to support its rural candidates by at least considering what impacts a name change might have. “I certainly believe voters would be more receptive to our party’s policy if it’s clear there is absolutely zero influence from anyone in Ottawa,” he said. Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner (Calgary-Nose Hill, AB) said in January NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will hurt Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley’s chances of becoming premier because he supports a just transition for oil and gas workers. READ MORE: Rempel Garner says Singh to scuttle Notley’s chances at winning Alberta election“And now Singh has put Notley in an epic bind by forcing her to take a position on the issue of energy sector jobs right before a provincial election,” said Rempel Garner. Rempel Garner acknowledged Notley was hoping for a major win in the Alberta election. Recent polls indicated this win could be possible.