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Bad polling numbers? Alison Redford rejects the premise of your question

Alberta Premier and PC leader Alison Redford makes a campaign stop in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, March 31, 2012.

Jeff McIntosh/ The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh/ The Canadian Press

The latest poll shows her party far behind the right-wing Wildrose, but Alison Redford isn't prepared to admit the situation is dire.

She appeared at an announcement Wednesday morning, arriving late and her voice seeming shaky, and was asked what she might do to change the momentum.

"That might be your perspective, it's not my perspective," the Progressive Conservative leader replied.

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Asked later what she'd say to Conservative voters moving over to Wildrose, she again refused the premise. "I'm not going to jump in and presume that what you're saying is actually the case."

With Wildrose at 43 per cent in the polls, it's unfathomable to think the party isn't winning support from Ms. Redford's PCs. Ms. Redford consistently declines to discuss polls, but hinted Wednesday the party's internal polling isn't as bleak as the ThinkHQ poll released Tuesday, showing them at just 30 per cent.

"I will just say that the information I've been provided with most recently is quite different," she said. When pressed on what she might do, she said: "Just keep watching."

There was no pirouette, but the PCs don't seem to be panicking yet – though they have started rolling out goodies. On Wednesday morning, she announced a $19-million funding plan to train rural doctors and a $24-million seniors activity credit, that will allow anyone over 65 to be refunded their fees for sports and leisure activities up to $500 annually.

Seniors and rural voters are, of course, two groups Wildrose and the PCs are battling for.

"You'll see in some of the polling, there are a lot of people that are undecided. I'm good with that. Because I have confidence and I am proud of what we've done and will continue to do – which is to set an agenda where we're transparent, open and honest about our plans."

In the last poll, just 19 per cent of voters were undecided, with Ms. Redford trailing Ms. Smith by 13 per cent among those who've made up their minds. She's going to have to overwhelmingly woo over the undecideds – but, then again, she may reject that premise, too.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Josh is a parliamentary reporter in Ottawa. Before moving to the nation's capital in 2013, he covered provincial affairs in Edmonton and throughout Alberta. He joined the Globe in 2008 in Toronto before returning to his home province in 2010. More

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