Sunday, March 02, 2008

Alberta Election Predictions

Now, I haven't set foot in Alberta once during this campaign and the polls all show a very volatile and difficult to predict electorate. So be prepared to laugh long and hard at these predictions come Tuesday.

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:

PC 56
Lib 22
Green 0 (despite the hype around Lacombe Ponoka)

In Calgary
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.

In Edmonton
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.

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  • My seat prediction is not that far off of yours, but maybe a different set of seats -- Calgary Glenmore, really? I would say Foothills before Glenmore, but even that's a tough one to predict.

    I don't have any sense of what is really happening in Edmonton, but I will say little to no change there, and fewer Liberal seats in Calgary. I'm on the Global election night panel tomorrow, so I will have to respond to whatever crops up. I'm practicing saying "well, this is a surprise" regardless of what happens ... :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:42 p.m.  

  • Libs 30
    Con 50
    NDP 3

    And turnout will be at a record low.

    By Blogger Concerned Albertan, at 1:14 a.m.  

  • Record low turnout, yes.

    Libs 26
    Con 50
    NDP 4
    WRA 2

    In Calgary, Liberals hold Varsity, Currie, Mountain View, & Elbow (many thanks to Barry Erskine). They also pick up Buffalo, McCall, MacKay, Montrose, North Hill, Egmont, Fish Creek, and Lougheed (those last two are no doubt going to come back to bite me...)

    Lethbridge goes Liberal, and so does Red Deer South.

    Edmonton is a free for all and I can't really hazard an accurate guess on specific ridings.

    By Blogger Glen, at 2:07 a.m.  

  • I think while the polls are showing fairly comfortable numbers for the Tories, the underlying 'time for change' echo will be more evident in the final numbers. That's why i'm prepared to be laughed off this blog with the following prediction:

    PC - 43
    ALP - 34
    NDP - 4
    WRA - 1

    By Blogger burlivespipe, at 3:43 a.m.  

  • PC 53 (mostly Calgary losses)
    Lib 23 (mostly Calgary gains)
    NDP 4 (no changes)
    WRA 3 (Hinman, Byfield, that guy from up north who almost won last time)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:54 a.m.  

  • ** Most of your province work for a living and are not to happy with wannabe Liberals who devise new ways to tax and spend their hard won productivity.

    Hapless Eddie will have a near minority government and will be replaced by Ted Morton before the year is out.**

    Yet I wonder if Albertans put a lot of stock in keeping it simple and honest.

    Ed is used to new challenges popping up suddenly. Most successful farmers are.

    If Albertans want *steadfast and honest* then , not so flashy ED will do well in the poles. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 12:44 p.m.  

  • Ed Stelmach had a whole year and a month to resonate some new vision.
    Forget plan and all the cliches, there just were no ideas or innovative policies either.

    I hear people say he deserves a chance. He is such a nice family man and a farmer. Well so is my Alberta farming family and many others too that are unsung heroes with modesty. We are tired of cliches by politicians who take others for granted because that folksy approach always works.

    Ed had his time to enact proper policy in probably the most propsperous period this province ever had and came well short.

    We all know of some great people in this province but the truth is if Ed worked for the companies we work for in the Cities and Rural Alberta and put together such a convuluted policy briefing that his party has at our office work meetings he would rightfully be fired as nobody would approve his budget nor expenditures.

    This province is results driven and in that end, the premier had a fair chance to distance himself from the past and re invent the party for the times we live in.

    Government has to start reflecting society and act like it is progressive, not pretend that it is because its in its name.

    Thats gone on too long and the riding structures for elections are in a mess as well to population favoring incumbents with our growth.Its easy to say I will fix that after you elect me.

    They elect Liberals in BC that look better then these Alberta PCs because they are more enterprise orientated, fiscally prudent and results driven by evoking balanced social change (hard to believe thats BC from what it was years ago). Stop living in the past and place blame where it belongs!

    Even UK Labour went to the right in most policies under Tony Blair, its only a party name yet its the substance behind the policies and people working for your riding that deserve a fair chance for earning your vote.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:50 p.m.  

  • Not that I know that much about the particulars but I think that the Conservatives will do better than most of your commentators predict. The polls give them quite an edge. I may even be on the low side still.

    PC 60, LIB 18, NDP 4 WRA 1

    The Liberals will pick up a couple in Calgary perhaps.

    A nice post with lots of good links in it.

    By Blogger ken, at 5:12 p.m.  

  • I predict the standings will be exactly the same as presently, with a gain of two seats for the Liberals in Calgary, and a loss of two in Edmonton.

    PC: 62
    LP: 16
    NDP: 4
    WRA: 1

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 6:54 p.m.  

  • OUCH! Right now its

    PC: 72
    LP: 8
    NDP: 2
    WRA: 1

    How did that happen?

    By Blogger Eric, at 12:07 a.m.  

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