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Poll predicts tight race in Alberta election
Chris Gardner, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Monday, March 26, 2012 5:45PM MDT
With less than a month to go until Albertans cast their ballots, it appears to be a fairly tight race.
An election poll from ThinkHQ, provided to CTV News, is showing a boost in support for the Wildrose Party and a slight dip for the Alberta Progressive Conservatives. PC support is down to 36 percent of decided voters, just three percent ahead of the Wildrose.
The poll also shows a drop in the public opinion of PC Leader Allison Redford's leadership. In December, 41 percent of respondents said she was on the right track. By March, that number had fallen to about a third of that group.
Redford is still the most popular with 50 percent of those polled saying they "somewhat" or "strongly" approve of her leadership. Danielle Smith, Leader of the Wildrose Party, is right behind with 40 percent approval.
The firm behind this poll says that while Tory numbers are way down from just months ago, the PC Leader is keeping her party ahead by a nose.
"The last six weeks have shown that [Redford's] honeymoon is over," says Marc Henry of ThinkHQ. "But, in terms of approval, she still has strong numbers. [Redford's] numbers are ahead of the party [and] ahead of the government. She is the single biggest asset the Conservatives have."
And, according to at least one political scientist, Alberta's political landscape could be in for the biggest shake up in decades.
"Even the Liberals and New Democrats have to look carefully at that and figure if there is room for them to move ahead [of the PCs] in the campaign," says Mount Royal University's Lori Williams. "But, there is a lot of room for them to move. The undecided vote is as large as the total support in this poll for the Wildrose."
The ThinkHQ poll sampled 1320 Albertans with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.
With files from Bill Fortier