Alberta Poll Soup
As for the expected outcome, the polls are predicting...well...who knows? Five companies (ThinkHQ, Forum, ROI, Abacus, Leger) have released polls in 2012, with the following ranges for each party:
PCs: 34% to 53%
Wildrose: 16% to 30%
Liberals: 11% to 18%
NDP: 13% to 14%
The PC lead is somewhere between 5 points and 37 points, plus or minus a few percent on the margin of error. Sure, we know where the NDP are at, but everything else is a crapshot.
Which shouldn't be surprising given the three other parties all enter this campaign with rookie leaders. Voters have likely heard of Danielle Smith and know Alison Redford is the Premier, but that's about all they know.
Toss in the fact that the second place party has basically risen from nothingness over the last two years, and you have the makings of a very unpredictable election, in a province which rarely sees unpredictable election.