Fearless prediction for Alberta: 28 Conservatives will win

By Harold Jansen on Sep 12, 2008

I've been enjoying reading the profiles of contests from other parts of Canada that my colleagues have posted here on the Mapleleafweb election blog. It must be interesting to live in places where elections are actually close contests. So, I'll chime in from Alberta and fearlessly predict that the Conservatives will win all 28 seats here. Crazy, I know, but that's just how I see it. Perhaps what I will lack in writing about interesting local contests will be offset by having the best accuracy in predicting election results in my province.

That's not to say there aren't some interesting local contests. Alberta is far less homogeneous than most people think it is. The winner-take-all nature of our electoral system distorts our impressions of Alberta politics. For the close contexts, though, we have to head up to Edmonton where there are a few interesting districts. One is Edmonton Strathcona, which has been held since 1997 by Rahim Jaffer. Jaffer only wins around 40% of the vote, which makes it a tempting target for the Liberals and the NDP, both of which do respectably here. And that's the problem for them: in the absence of a clear alternative, the non-Conservative vote gets divided and Jaffer wins. This is far and away the best district in Alberta for the NDP and they pump money into it and can attract high quality candidates as theyhave again in Linda Duncan, running again after gaining 32.5% of the vote in 2006. The Liberals are running a strong candiate in Claudette Roy,  but the expectation is that these two will cancel each other out and Jaffer will win again.

Edmonton Centre is another interesting district in that it was held from 1993 to 2006 by Liberal cabinet stalwart "Landslide" Anne McLellan. It took a few tries, but Laurie Hawn finally defeated her in 2006. It's an interesting contest in that the Liberals have some history here, but given that McLellan isn't trying to regain her seat, this will stay Conservative. Even McLellan's star power wasn't enough to give her a comfortable victory in the past.

Those two are probably going to be closest races in Alberta on election day. The parties all have some strong candidates in various districts across Alberta, but the Conservatives should carry the day in all 28 districts.

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Another fearless prediction

I agree. As much as I'd like to see a different party in an Alberta seat, it probably won't happen this time around. If one did, it would be Edmonton Strathcona.

My fearless prediction? The incumbent will win my riding: something tells me that, even though the Bloc might be having a mid-life crisis (so to speak), Duceppe will still take this seat with all his usual flair. 

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