A new poll suggests Alberta voters are taking a serious look at the NDP.

"The first few days of this campaign are showing signs of a tremendously competitive race," Quito Maggi, president of the Mainstreet Technologies, said in a news release.

"The sudden surge of new support for the NDP in both Edmonton and across Alberta is the real story."

The poll shows the NDP with a commanding lead as the choice of 40 per cent of Edmonton voters and have improved to 20 per cent province wide.

The poll also found the Wildrose Party opening a slim lead over the Progressive Conservatives with 24 per cent of the vote across Alberta compared to the Tories' 21 per cent. A poll last week placed the two front runners in a dead heat.

"The real bad news for the PCs in these numbers is that among those certain and likely to vote, the numbers get worse," Maggi said. "They trail the Wildrose Party 33 per cent to 27 per cent with the NDP not far back at 25 per cent among decided certain and likely voters."

"The NDP could become a contender in this three way race with some growth in Calgary and if they can motivate those who might and are unlikely to vote."

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt is skeptical of the poll results saying people who stick around to answer the questions of automated polls tend to be angry, skewing the results to opposition parties.

"Any time you use demon dials which isn't a live voice that the people who stay on the line are those that are angry," he said. "And those don't tend to be government supporters."

But he said the poll does show some vulnerability for the PC party, though he points to the large number of undecided voters.

The noncommissioned poll surveyed a random sample of 3,270 Alberta residents by Interactive Voice Response, a computerized telephone survey, on April 7. The poll includes cell phone samples.

The poll carries an overall margin of error of +/- 1.78%, 19 times out of 20.

Edmonton Calgary Rest of Alberta
Progressive Conservatives 16% 26% 20%
Wildrose Party 7% 24%  29%
Alberta Liberal Party 10% 9% 10%
NDP 39% 16% 15%
Alberta Party 3% 3% 2%
Undecided 25% 22% 25%
Sample size 1108 1018 1144