In most cases, a high voter turnout is a signal change is coming. This was not the case in the 2012 provincial election. Albertans turned out in record numbers. After counting all the votes, it was the best turnout since 1993. The polls favored the Wildrose Party, but on election night, the voters again supported the Progressive Conservative Party led by Alison Redford.
The polls have been wrong before on various elections, but none more so respecting the Alberta election. It seems that voters, especially the left leaning NDP, Liberals and younger voters became shy of voting for the more right wing Wildrose Party, and moved their support to the conservatives. It is even likely some old conservatives were flirting with the notion of voting for the Wildrose Party.
Voters could have stayed with the more centre conservatives or go back to conservative roots and vote for the Wildrose Party. In the end, most roads led to the Progressive Conservatives on election night. Premier Redford won, but at what cost to the taxpayers? Danielle Smith of the Wildrose Party and her colleagues in opposition will press Alberta’s new Premier hard on fiscal issues.
The Progressive Conservative Party under Premier Alison Redford may continue to mess around in the middle of Alberta politics. If that continues and Danielle Smith performs well in opposition, responsibly to the right of Redford, look for a different result at the next Alberta election.