Out of the Blue?
There will be less suspense for the Drumheller vote tonight, in a riding the PCs have traditionally won by 6-1 or 7-1 vote ratios. But, if Elbow is Stelmach's Calgary litmus test, Drumheller is his rural one and it will be interesting to see if any erosion has occurred in the party base.
I was out in Drumheller on the weekend with some other Liberals to help door knock and I must say I was absolutely blown away by the support for Liberal candidate Tom Dooley in the poll I was in. For the first hour, I honestly felt like I was in the GTA, rather than rural Alberta (well...maybe that's pushing it...let's say Edmonton). I wouldn't be at all surprised if Tom picks up a few polls in Drumheller due to his personal popularity and anger over the Balzac water transfer. The rest of the riding is still pretty anti-Liberal (damn that Sifton! damn that Rutherford!), but just getting a candidate of Tom Dooley's local profile to run for the ALP gives them some credibility in rural Alberta. Oh, and I can't let a post about the Drumheller byelection pass without mentioning John Rew who is...well...I'll let his website speak for himself.
Byelections are weird creatures and hard to predict. Between low voter turn-out and the absense of any real polls, you're really going on gut alone so any predictions almost ensure the predictor will look like an idiot afterwards. That said, here are my entries in a pool I'm in...maybe I'm being a little overly optimistic for the home team, but what the hell:
NDP 3% (The NDP will no doubt receive a boost by having Brian Mason run in both ridings)
Social Credit 4%
I'll be down at Cheffins headquaters tonight and, having just now learned how to do mobile blogging, will post the vote totals from Elbow and Drumheller as soon as they come in [since I expect all of my Ontario readers will be up late, eagerly awaiting the results].
Labels: Calgary Elbow Byelection