LETHBRIDGE: New information out of Lethbridge College shows some surprises may be in store during the next provincial election. The poll shows the Progressive Conservatives still hold a majority lead - with support from 47.7 per cent of 1,237 people surveyed.
It's the parties next in line which bring a status quo shaker. The NDP and Wildrose are fighting for second place, with 16.3 and 16.1 per cent support respectively.
Survey supervisor and Lethbridge College Instructor Faron Ellis said if the vote were held today, the Wildrose have a better chance of forming the opposition. "The New Democrats have most of their strength amongst the youth and Gen Xers, while the Wildrose has most of their strength among the boomers and seniors," he said. "And we know who tends to show up most to the polls - it's the boomers and seniors."
Ellis added the Liberals have the most to worry about - they ranked fourth with 13.4 per cent support. He said the Official Opposition needs to talk less about the similarities between its party and the ruling Conservatives, and focus instead on distinguishing itself within Alberta's quickly-expanding center.
"That center is getting very crowded and the Conservatives seem to be locking up much more of it than any of the other parties that are competing for it," he said. "If your current leader keeps saying 'good on the Conservatives, they're just like us,' it starts to beg the question of why the Liberals continue to exist. And you're starting to see that in some of these numbers as the Liberals keep sliding."