NEWS24 April 2012

Pollsters bemused by Alberta election result

North America

CANADA— Pollsters in Alberta were left scratching their heads after Tory Alison Redford beat the Wildrose Party’s Danielle Smith in Monday’s provincial election.

Pollsters had forecast Smith to come out on top but were stunned when Progressive Conservative candidate Redford won by approximately 60 seats.

Return on Insight’s Bruce Cameron told The Globe and Mail that a number of voters – perhaps as many as a fifth – remained undecided in the final days leading up to the election before eventually voting for Redford. He said: “I think in the last days of the campaign, maybe right up until election day, Wildrose cratered. We did get part of that [trend], but it continued.”

Another Calgary pollster, Janet Brown, said: “We’re going to be trying to figure out what happened over the coming days. Were the polls simply wrong? Or was there a big shift among voters?”