Alberta Election Predictions
I've linked to the polls in my week in review post - two out of three actually show the PCs gaining seats which would defy all forms of logic. Some Conservatives are privately predicting 65 seats - but my hunch is that those people are just Dinning organizers trying to raise expectations to make a leadership review vote more justifiable. Then again, some expert seat projections have the Tories in the 70s, challenging Klein's personal best.
Alberta Tory makes a series of 10 predictions here. One blogger does riding by riding picks here. ES makes no predictions but offers up a very detailed election primer.
Jason Markusoff profiles 10 ridings to watch and offers a free coffee to any readers predicting 9 of 10 correctly. The Sun's Kerry Diotte offers CDs for the closest picks. I offer nothing, but I still encourage readers to make their predictions in the comments section bellow.
And, as for my predictions:
Green 0 (despite the hype around Lacombe Ponoka)
I'm going to be optimistic and say the Alberta Liberals pick up 5 in cowtown: Buffalo, McCall, North Hill, Glenmore, and a surprise somewhere. The Alliance vote increases in the city (at least in ridings where they field candidates), but Craig Chandler finishes a disappointing (for him) third in Egmont. All four Liberal incumbents should be re-elected, although I do think Craig Cheffins is vulnerable.
Given all the three way races and polls showing the PCs flying high in the capital, Edmonton is a bit harder to predict. I've heard rumours that David Eggen is vulnerable but I'm going to keep it in the win column for the NDP in my predictions. I'm going to say the Liberals pick up Manning and Castle Downs but, in both cases, they aren't really pick-ups, since they won Manning under Dan Backs last election and they won Castle Downs before a judicial recount reversed the decision. Despite this, the polls lead me to believe the PCs will be knocking off a few Liberals in Edmonton. So I'm going to say Stelmach picks up two out of Ellerslie, Glenora, and Meadowlark. I also think there's an outside change the parties could flip St. Alberta and Spruce Grove-Sturgeon St. Albert.
And all the Rest
I'll say the Liberals sweep Lethbridge, but I don't see a lot of other "rural" seats changing. The ALP have a shot in Red Deer and Medicine Hat if the Alliance surges, but I just don't see it happening. The big question, of course, is whether Paul Hinman will survive. For the sake of having a viable right wing opposition in the province I hope he does. Mr. Hinman has gotten solid reviews this campaign so I think he'll be back but I doubt he'll be joined by any fellow wild rosers, unless Link Byfield pulls off the upset in Whitecourt (which I wouldn't rule out given the strong Alliance show there last time).
So, there you have. The view from 2000 miles away. I fully expect that the distance will show and that these won't be anywhere near the mark.