05.04.2015 07:13 AM

Hedging bets in Alberta

Everyone got it wrong in Alberta’s 2012 election – well, almost everyone – so they’re all hedging their bets this time. 

CBC numbers guy:

Seven polls were published between Thursday and Sunday, and all of them told the same remarkable story. The New Democrats were awarded between 37 per cent and 44 per cent support across these surveys, with Wildrose scoring between 21 and 27 per cent and the Progressive Conservatives between 20 and 30 per cent.

Caution is for the weak, I say. I reckon my pal Brian Topp has overseen a campaign miracle. NDs for a win, je pense. Who’s with me?


  1. Rick Barnes says:

    It’s looking very good for Rachel Notley. I know her from years ago. She is the real thing. I think that has helped as Albertans seem to believe. Likely the most likable politician in the country.

  2. Robb Wright says:

    Je pense que oui. Their inefficient vote distribution and underdeveloped ground game will probably keep it to a minority, but the momentum is undeniable.

  3. Matt from Ottawa says:

    Its a tough call here. I know alot of people say polls are unreliable (unless it suits their political interests) But one thing people should look at, is when the polls have been “wrong” in the end the incumbent always seems to come through ie) BC, Ont, last AB election. The only time where the incumbent didnt win would be Quebec, but between the separation issue and the Peladeau fist I think had more to do for that. Personally speaking, Prentice just doesnt seem like hes into it. I dont think he was expecting such a fight to happen. That being said, I think its going to be a really close race

  4. Kevin says:

    I’m with you. But don’t discount the “Flora syndrome” – people might panic at the ballot box and go for the same old, same old…

  5. Priyesh says:

    I’ve truly lost all faith in polling. But I really hope Alberta has its first progressive government in a few days.

  6. Houland Wolfe says:

    An NDP government in Alberta? Unthinkable. The NDP win the election in Alberta? Unforgettable. Hello, Prime Minister Mulcair.

    • Michael Bluth says:

      Even if the NDP win provincially it does not translate into big gains here federally.

      There is no split right. Take a look at the combined Wildrose and PC vote tonight. That’s pretty much your floor on the federal Conservative vote.

      A somewhat functioning Liberal Party of Canada in Alberta as opposed to a basically non-existent Alberta Liberal Party. The Liberals couldn’t even field paper candidates in a third of the ridings here.

  7. Christian says:

    Yep. Me thinks so as well.

  8. Jim Hanna says:

    I’m going in with you this time. I’m disappointed the ALP never connected with voters but Notley has a rich history…I remember that plane crash when her father died.

    What I’m wondering is if she does win what does that mean for Trudeau…Mulcair can claim he has a incipient coalition of the West and Quebec; and Ontario votes with the country. Or will it not translate…we’ll see.

  9. Alex says:

    I had this day dream in which the NDP wins a plurality of seats, but falls just short of a majority. However, the handful of seats won by the Liberals would be enough to form a majority. In response, newly elected Premier Notley decides to have a NDP-Liberal coalition, and by gosh it works. Fast forward to the federal election, and the Liberals win a plurality of seats, but fall just short of a majority. The significant number of seats won by the NDP, however, is enough to form a very healthy majority. The question is then posed: If a coalition of progressives can rule in Alberta, then why can’t they do the same in Canada?

    Likely won’t happen, but a boy can dream can’t he?

  10. gyor says:

    I didn’t realize Brian Topp was invovled with the Notley campaign.

  11. Richard Besserer says:

    I dunno. Sixty-second Socreds (“Liberals,” sorry) denied the NDP government in BC last time, and thirty-second Tories denied Wildrose government in Alberta. Don’t rule out the possibility that the undecideds will go heavily Tory this time too.

    How big a GOTV machine do the NDP have outside Edmonton? Not very, I imagine.

    I’ll believe that Alberta is going orange when I see it tomorrow night. For now hedging bets is the wisest course.

  12. Africon says:

    So umm, what it looks like may happen will have our “progressive” friends screaming in horror at the prospect of a party assuming government with only 38% of the vote.

    One thing is for sure, whoever has the bad luck to win this election will have a helluva a time pleasing any voters given the financial situation in Alberta.
    Harkens back to poor Bob Rae’s experience on Ontario.

  13. Devil's Advocate says:

    I voted Wildrose last time around in a riding that was a solid WR seat (Airdrie). I wanted the corrupt PCs to be booted out. I recently moved to downtown Calgary and so to follow my “anybody but PCs” mantra, I’ll vote for the New Democrats. I don’t agree with everything about the NDP, but if they govern thinking about regular people, they could be more than a one term flash in the pan. Hopefully this political realignment will not see corruption that changes it’s focus from placating big business to that of the public sector union fat cats.

    Regardless, the current government needs to eat a big piece of humble pie. And I will enjoy seeing a few conservative partisan heads explode.

  14. sezme says:

    Agreed. I mean as long as the PC apparatchiks actually allow another party to win. Until that big orange egg hatches, I won’t quite believe it.

  15. Mervyn Norton says:

    Brave prediction, Warren, given your strong support for the Liberal option, seemingly not a factor this time. The view from over The Wall in Saskatchewan is that an NDP win in Alberta, even a minority, would be truly remarkable. Most thought that Prentice would be a dominant player, before his three strikes: floor crossing manipulation, budget disappointment, and early election call. Tuesday will be another test of whether the fear factor overcomes the desire for change. Who knows, given that Alberta is such a special case in Canada?

    Speaking of (federal) Liberal options, who came up with the idea of burying Justin’s first major policy platform announcement on the same Tuesday, when all eyes will be on Alberta (including Calgary Flames game)?

    • Mervyn Norton says:

      Oops! My “next day” preview announcement from LPC came Sunday, not this morning, so the proposed incremental 1.5% tax cut on $45k-$90k taxable income was announced today. Now you can celebrate before the Alberta election!

  16. Mike Adamson says:

    I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime but it’s hard to ignore so many polls saying much the same thing. I can’t wrap my head around an NDP lead in southern Alberta and have assumed that too many votes in too few ridings would stop them short of the win. Wow!

  17. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Think back to the Scot referendum. As the Daily Record reported, the fear of defeat drove No supporters to the polls. In addition, the majority of No voters did not wear badges or otherwise display their voting intentions prior to the vote.

    After being in power for 43 years, Prentice’s PCs have the winning machine and “shy PC voters” are not to be underestimated.

    In short, Prentice hangs on with a minority.

  18. jen says:

    Its very surreal.
    I am in Calgary. The electorate does not seem energized to me despite what is happening. But I don’t sense ‘oh wait…what are we about to do?’ on peoples faces and I think people will vote how they want.
    The change might happen.

  19. sezme says:

    I think the Wild Rose party may have made a strategic mistake by making Fargo-era William H Macy their leader. I mean, can you tell the difference?


  20. jeff316 says:

    If the Wildrose are telling you their internal polling says NDP majority, you can bet their polling says the exact opposite. Watch for a Wildrose surprise, I think.

    • doconnor says:

      What about every other public poll which shows the NDP majority?

      The only question now is how many decades will their government last.

  21. Raymond says:

    Distinct possibility.

  22. smelter rat says:

    I predict that Albertans, suffering from something akin to battered wife syndrome, will return the PC’s to power.

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