Alberta Premier Alison Redford asked the Lieutenant Governor to drop the election writ yesterday. Albertans will go to the polls on April 23rd., after a 28-day campaign. Much is being written about what kind of campaign it will be, but it’s too early to tell for sure. We know that it will be a contested one with some certainty, however.
This poll, taken over a few days leading to the election call, underscores why this likely will be the most exciting election campaign Albertans have seen in a generation. The governing party, the PCs, and the main challengers, the Wildrose, are statistically neck in neck with 38% of the declared intentions of Albertans going to each. Unlike most Alberta elections since the 1970s, the outcome of this one cannot be announced in advance. This fact alone makes the start of this election campaign remarkable.
The other parties are far behind, and will likely be left to watch the whole race from that position. Of interest in the Ipsos poll is the gap in party support between Edmonton and Calgary. It is primarily in Edmonton that Alberta Liberals will be fighting for their survival. The races at the micro level in Edmonton and in some selected ridings around the province will also energize the reports and produce some excitement.