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Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach says the province is well-positioned to emerge from the recession. ((Jason Scott/Canadian Press))

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is brushing aside the lowest poll results his party has seen in 17 years.

Stelmach says the Tories were much lower in the polls in 1992, but he didn't abandon the party as some are doing now.

Recent polls suggest Stelmach's Conservatives are now trailing the upstart Wildrose Alliance party.

But Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans says she doesn't think diehard Tory voters who say they've switched their allegiance will stay with the Wildrose in the long run.

And Stelmach says that although many Albertans may be personally hurting economically, the province has billions in savings to weather the effects of recession.

He said a sign that things aren't so bad in Alberta is the fact that the population is still growing — by .44 per cent, or 16,300 people, from July to October. That, Stelmach said, sends a message of hope and prosperity.