This Week in Alberta - All Good Things...
Across the province, 34 per cent of decided voters say they support the Tories, down from 55 per cent a year ago.
The Wildrose party, under new leader Danielle Smith, is now the solid second choice of Albertans, with 28 per cent support. The Liberals have the support of 20 per cent and the NDP nine. Despite being deregistered by Elections Alberta, the Green Party polled at eight per cent.
The numbers suggest the Wildrose Alliance is particularly strong in Calgary, polling 34 per cent among decided voters, compared to 30 per cent for the Tories.
The Wildrose appears to have considerably less support in Edmonton, where it polled in third place, with 17 per cent of decided voters. The Conservatives polled at 34 per cent support, the Liberals 27 and the NDP at 13 per cent.
Outside the major cities, 38 per cent of decided voters say they would cast ballots for the PCs, 32 per cent for the Wildrose party and 15 per cent for the Liberals.
It's hard to project what numbers like this would mean in terms of seats, especially when you consider how little is known about the Wildrosers or their leader. But the Alliance are ahead in Calgary and are highly competitive in rural Alberta. Throw in Redmonton's history of turning on the PCs, and Stelmach is looking out at a very unstable political landscape. A lot can change in 2 or 3 years but, right now, an election would probably produce the first minority government in Alberta's history.
Over the past two months, I've mused on here from time to time about the possibility of Alberta's 38-year old political dynasty crumbling. And this would definitely follow the pattern.
To recap, in 1971 the SoCreds were swept aside by the PCs, a party that had never governed Alberta and had won just 6 seats in the previous campaign, up from 0 the election before that.
36 years earlier, the Socreds, having never elected an MLA before, completely wiped out the United Farmers of Alberta.
18 years earlier, the UFA, having never won a seat, took out the Liberals, who had governed Alberta since its founding.
So Danielle Smith (Fun Fact: Rome wasn't built in a day, but only because Danielle Smith wasn't there) certainly has history on her side.
After tomorrow, we should have a good idea of who Smith and history will be up against.