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Wildrose Party set for sweeping majority, latest poll shows

Wildrose leader Danielle Smith makes a campaign stop in Calgary, Alta., Friday, April 20, 2012. Albertans go to the polls on April 23.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Danielle Smith's Wildrose Party is poised for a sweeping majority in Monday's Alberta election, the latest poll says.

The poll, conducted by Forum Research Inc., shows Wildrose maintaining a wide lead over the Progressive Conservatives, with 41 per cent of voters backing the party compared to the PC's 32 per cent. It's a wider gap than what was found by another major poll earlier this week.

The support is enough for Wildrose to capture 62 of the province's 87 seats, Forum projections show. "We expect to welcome a new majority government to the provincial scene on Monday night," polling firm president Lorne Bozinoff said.

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The PCs, however, dismissed the results, saying their internal polling was much stronger. "I think we're going to be in fine shape on Monday night," PC leader Alison Redford said Saturday.

Nonetheless, the poll – conducted with a total of 2010 responses gathered Saturday evening by automated phone response – is the latest to project a Wildrose majority, and suggests the party hasn't been hurt by gaffes in the past week.

The Forum poll shows Wildrose ahead in each age category but that there's a divide among genders – half of all male voters are backing Wildrose, while the PCs enjoy a narrower edge among female voters. Wildrose is leading the PCs in each voting age group, the poll shows.

The NDP are third at 13 per cent, the poll says, with the Liberals at 10 per cent and other parties' support at a total of four per cent. Both other major parties are strongest in Edmonton, where the NDP are at 23 per cent and the Liberals are at 14 per cent, the poll says.

Those numbers suggest the PCs will take 19 seats, the NDP four and the Liberals two in Monday's vote, Forum projects.

Regionally, Wildrose has wide leads in southern Alberta, central Alberta and Calgary, with a narrower lead in northern Alberta and a statistical tie in Edmonton between the two leading parties.

The nine-point gap between Wildrose and the PCs is slightly wider than what Forum found in a poll earlier in the week, when it had the parties separated by seven per cent. Forum samples voters who have decided on, or are leaning toward, a particular party and are absolutely certain to vote. Previous polls have shown a large number of undecided voters late in the campaign, which formally began four weeks ago.

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The Forum poll is considered accurate within 2.37 per cent, 19 times out of 20, the polling firm says. The margin of error is considered higher in the poll's regional breakdowns, and rival firms have disputed the accuracy of Forum's push-button response method.

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