A new poll conducted on Sunday suggests NDP incumbent Deron Bilous holds a substantial lead over PC candidate Tony Caterina in the Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview riding.
The Mainstreet Technologies poll found Bilous leads with 42 per cent support among all voters. Caterina, the councillor for Ward 7 in Edmonton, has 21 per cent support among all voters.
The lead is wider among decided voters, with Bilous polling at 50 per cent support and Caterina at 25 per cent.
"In 2012, this was a close race — but that was before the NDP surge we have seen in Alberta over the past few weeks," said David Valentin, vice-president of Mainstreet Technologies.
"If these numbers hold, we should see Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview go NDP again on election night, but there is a long way to go. Coun. Caterina should not be counted out — a strong local machine can make a big difference if the provincial numbers tighten."
The poll, commissioned by the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal, looked at the races in six key electoral districts.
The numbers suggest Ceci has support of 37 per cent among all voters, while Wildrose candidate Jeevan Mangat is second with 27 per cent support.
Among decided voters, Ceci has 43 per cent support compared to 32 per cent for Mangat.
"The NDP have been shut out of Calgary since 1989, but they recruited Mr. Ceci and have devoted significant time and resources in Calgary-Fort," Valentin said. "The NDP are leading by 10 per cent, and despite the fact the riding has been held by the PCs for some time, it is the Wildrose who are in second.
"Mr. Ceci is a well-known commodity in his community. He served on city council for 15 years and I would expect him to make use of his local organization. This will certainly be a race to watch on election night."
The Edmonton poll surveyed a random sample of 401 Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview residents contacted on Sunday by Interactive Voice Response.
The Calgary poll surveyed a random sample of 397 Calgary-Fort residents contacted on Sunday by Interactive Voice Response.
The margin of error in the Edmonton riding is 4.86 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
The margin of error in the Calgary riding is 4.89 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
All Mainstreet polls include cellphone samples, unless otherwise stated.