A new poll suggests Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives are still the party of choice in the province, but their popularity continues to slip at the expense of the Wildrose Alliance.

A recent telephone survey conducted by Lethbridge College found that 36.1 per cent of 804 people surveyed by phone said they would pick Premier Ed Stelmach’s party as the one they would vote for in the next election. That is down slightly from 38.4 per cent in a 2009 Lethbridge College survey.

Those who moved away from the Tories appear to have moved to the Wildrose Alliance. The upstart right-of-centre party had 24 per cent of those surveyed, up 2.5 percentage points from the 2009 survey.

Both the Alberta Liberals — at 20.7 per cent — and the NDP at 10.8 per cent remained virtually unchanged from 2009. Just over eight per cent said they would vote for other parties, a figure that is also almost unchanged from the year prior.

The closest fight appears to be in Calgary. The Tories have 34.1 per cent of decided voters there compared with 29.4 per cent for the Wildrose. The Liberals were chosen by 19.3 per cent and NDP by 8.1 per cent.

Edmonton, by comparison, is a free-for-all, with strong voter support for all four parties. The Tories were chosen by 33 per cent of those surveyed, followed by the Liberals (24.2 per cent), the NDP (19.8 per cent), and the Wildrose Alliance (16.3 per cent).

The poll was conducted by research students at Lethbridge College and Athabasca University, who randomly contacted 1,067 adult Albertans by phone between Oct. 2 and 3.

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