This Week in Alberta: Polling Numbers
1. The Wildrose Alliance have had their first semi-public internal party dust up, over the Little Bow nomination. While this certainly isn't good news by any means, it does show that a Wildrose nomination is now worth fighting over. The airing of internal party dirty laundry on the Internet is really just a coming of age ritual for political parties.
2. Justin Archer pens a guest post over at Daveberta on an Alberta Liberal's perspective of the Alberta Party. By and large, I tend to agree with Justin. Personally, I think the best bet would have been to blow up the ALP after the last election and start fresh - a new name, new members, an outsider in charge. If done correctly, the new party could very well have capitalized on a lot of the anti-Stelmach feelings Danielle Smith has instead lassoed. I'm a Liberal but that means I'm also a pragmatist, so I'm by no means one of these "we've lost as Liberals for 80 years and dammit, I'm ready to lose as Liberals for another 80" people.
But because I'm a pragmatist, I just don't see the Alberta Party being able to suck up enough oxygen to survive, so long as the ALP lives. It's always great to have more options, and I'm sure they'll appeal to a lot of former Green voters, but the party is basically advocating Liberal policies, and I'm skeptical this movement will accomplish much more than wounding the ALP (more so in the form of lost volunteers than lost votes).
3. An Environics poll is out, with the Liberals down slightly and the Wildrose up slightly from May:
Most notably, the poll shows the Wildrose on the rise in Edmonton which is probably the one consolation the Liberals can take from these numbers - after all, a split right wing vote in Calgary and Edmonton means they'll pick up seats so long as they get their act together.
AlbertaVote has done up a seat projection which shows the PCs with a slim majority (45 seats), the Alliance a strong second (32 seats), and the ALP (5 seats) and NDP (3 seats) taking just a handful of seats.
Although I enjoy a good seat projection as much as the next statistical/political nerd, I'd be really cautious about extrapolating out these poll results into seats. And not just because we're only talking about 200-300 decided voters in each region. The big problem is the emergence of the Wildrose Alliance is such a wild card that you can't expect vote patterns to shift normally.
But hey, a little unpredictability in Alberta politics is a refreshing change.