Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith met with supporters at a campaign stop in front of the Federal Building on 107 Street in Edmonton, Alberta, on March 28, 2012. Smith spoke in response to comments from Progressive Conservative leader Alison Redford.
Credits: IAN KUCERAK/EDMONTON SUN/QMI AGENCY
EDMONTON -- In the wake of a poll showing the Wildrose Party would win a majority if the election was bumped up to this week, other parties weighed in on the numbers Wednesday.
The Forum Research poll conducted Monday showed a province poised for sweeping change, giving the Wildrose 58 seats in the Alberta legislature, with the four-decade ruling Progressive Conservatives under Alison Redford taking a distant second with 22 seats.
Pollster Lorne Bozinoff said the numbers indicate a defining change for Alberta politics.
But Redford campaign strategist Stephen Carter told Sun News host Ezra Levant that polls -- like the one that put Redford's approval rating down from a December High of 44% to a current 30% -- are fickle.
"I disagree that we were that high, I disagree we're that low...the electorate moves up, the electorate moves down," Carter said.
Asked about the poll at an event Wednesday in Fort McMurray, Redford said the poll shows the election is "very volatile" and people are interested in it.
"I think this is a very important election for Alberta -- it is going to allow Albertan's to decide whether or not they want to take a direction forward or maintain what we have done before," she said.
"What we have done before has been wonderful, but we need long-term vision and leadership to do the sorts of things we are talking about today."
Liberal leader Raj Sherman fared well in the poll, with his approval rating climbing monthly to a current near-tie with Redford.
Sherman said he hopes the provincial Grits can pick up ballots from a fragmented PC vote.
"The poll indicates the PCs are crumbling at the seams. The PCs are split, and we're asking every progressive voter to unite under the new Liberals," Sherman said.
Danielle Smith said the Wildrose will take nothing for granted.
"Four weeks ago, I think the PCs were bragging about how they were going to get 82 seats, and that just shows you how much polls can change in a four-week time," Smith said.
"For the next 26 days, we have to continue doing our work, earning the trust of Albertans, earning their support, one vote at a time. We are going to run in every single constituency as if we're 10 points behind," she said.