This Week in Alberta - the PCs pick a leader
Assuming no candidate nets 50% + 1 on the first ballot, the field would be narrowed to three for a showdown in two weeks time. The fun thing about this race is that you can keep selling memberships right up to the final vote, adding an element on unpredictability. That's how Ralph Klein beat establishment darling Nancy Betkowski in 1992 and how Ed Stelmach came from nowhere to win in 2006.
While it's difficult to know what to expect, we were treated to a poll of PC members this week. Unlike previous polls of the general public, this one is somewhat meaningful in that it was of card carrying conservatives. Of course, there's obviously the question of how Environics acquired a party member list, so the numbers should be interpreted with some caution:
Gary Mar: 31%
Alison Redford: 20%
Doug Horner: 12%
Ted Morton: 10%
Rick Orman: 5%
Doug Griffiths: 4%
Undecided/Won’t vote: 17%
If these numbers are to be believed, we're looking at a final ballot of Mar, Redford, and either Horner or Morton.
With the undecideds factored out, Mar would be in a better position than Jim Dinning was in 2006 when Jim was held to 30% on the first ballot. But remember, Ed Stelmach came from 15% and third place to take it, so a Redford or Horton win isn't unfathomable, depending on what we see tomorrow.
The more polarizing Morton will have his work cut out of him - even if he comes in at 20% on the first ballot, I don't see him having the growth potential he'd need to pull it out. With many of his supporters having already jumped to the Wildrose Alliance, Ted Morton does not appear to be the man this time around.
Labels: Alberta PC leadership race