Alberta’s undecided voters have something they’ve never had before: Power.
The province’s Wildrose Party, a fringe organization in the last election but front-runner this time around, has widened its lead over the once-unbeatable Progressive Conservative Party, according to a new poll. But while Wildrose is gaining among decided voters, undecided voters are favouring the PCs.
Forty-two per cent of decided voters support Wildrose, while 36 per cent stand behind the PCs, according to a Leger Marketing poll commissioned by the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal. The New Democratic Party rings in at 10 per cent, and the Liberals clock in at 9 per cent.
The election takes place next Monday, with advance polls starting this Thursday. The Leger survey said one in five voters remain undecided.
“A six-point lead for Wildrose may be hard for the PCs to overcome Monday, but with one in five still undecided, the final week of campaigning will be critical for all parties,” Ian Large, vice president for Alberta for Leger, said in statement detailing the polling results.
Twenty per cent of undecided voters are leaning toward Alison Redford’s governing PCs, while 14 per cent are leaning toward Danielle Smith’s Wildrose. Twelve per cent of undecided voters favour the Liberals, while eight per cent are doing the same for the NDP.
The percentage of undecided voters is unusually high considering the election is so close, Mr. large told the Calgary Herald. “They will carry the day if they come to the polls in good numbers. Everybody is expecting higher voter turnout,” he said. “This could make election day very, very interesting.”
Voter turnout, according to the poll, will be strong, with 64 per cent of Albertans saying it was “extremely likely” they would vote. Another 24 per cent said it was “very likely.”
Leger Marketing said it conducted the telephone survey of 1,200 voters across Alberta between April 13 and April 16. The survey’s maximum margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.