Edmonton-Riverview is a nominally Liberal seat just west of the heart of downtown Edmonton, represented by former Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft (2004-2008) since 2001. The riding has voted Liberal since its creation in 1997.
Edmonton-Riverview is one of two ridings that should stay Liberal, if all else fails. It's the heart of "Redmonton" - the ridings it was created out of were all Liberal strongholds since the 1980's. As I understand it, it's also mostly well-off middle class, the best Liberal demographic out there.
However, it's also a good demographic for the Progressive Conservatives, especially Redford's brand of conservatism. The loss of Taft with his gravitas and incumbency factor therefore definitely puts this riding into play, and the PCs seem to be making a play for it. They are, after all, not too far behind, and this riding is more likely to be PC friendly than Wildrose friendly, but if the Wildrosers creep high enough up, they could be easily in play. Right now I have it as a three-way race between the PCs, Liberals,and Wildrosers.
So why is this riding important?
Depending what happens, a Liberal loss here would be devastating. The area has been held by a Liberal since 1993. Taft is an icon of the party, so losing his seat would be a slap in the face. It'd also automatically spell doom for Raj Sherman's leadership, who is right next door in Edmonton-Meadowlark. And as the riding with the best Liberal presence in the City of Edmonton, it's loss would probably mark the end of the "Redmonton" phenomenon.
Arif Khan - Liberal
Steve Young - Progressive Conservative
John Corie - Wildrose Party
Lori Sigurdson - New Democratic Party