Sunday, April 13, 2014


Internally, I refer to these type of blog posts as "Emergency Posts". This is a post to correct or clarify something that I stumbled upon.

Recently, a friend of mine, Earl, who runs the Canadian Election Atlas inadvertently suggested on his Facebook page that the Liberals could possibly win Calgary Skyview, only if someone from the Tories ran to split the right-wing vote.

I've spoken about what is going to happen in Calgary a few times before and feel I need to clarify this to ensure that the point I am trying to make gets though. I will use blunt ratio numbers from Skyview to make my point.

The Liberals only need 27.8% of the conservative vote provincewide to win the riding. That means if the Conservatives take 2/3rds of the vote (66.667%) the Liberals only need 27.8% of that total, or, 18.5% provincewide to win the riding.

At current the Tories are at 54.2% provincewide and the Liberals are at 24.0%

Unless we re-elect a Conservative Majority government, I do not see any way whatsoever that the Liberals walk away with 0 seats from Calgary.

Skyview is all but a lock for the party. Current nation-wide poll numbers suggest a Liberal Minority. If that happens, you'll end up with a map that looks like this. A Liberal Majority may also be able to win Forest Lawn, while a narrow minority might not win Confederation, and a Conservative Minority might be able to hold on to Calgary Centre.

Skyview however is prime Liberal real-estate. For the past 2 decades, with each election, this riding has been becoming more and more small l and big L Liberal. The people in Calgary who can and likely will vote Liberal are the same people who elected and re-elected Naheed Nenshi.

Things can always change, of course, especially if the Tories get back above 60% and the Liberals below 20%; but as things stand, Skyview is a lock for the Liberal Party.


  1. I ran the EKOS numbers through my own seat model (which also uses ratios), and Calgary Skyview turned Liberal as well. I think Confederation did too, and Calgary Centre.

    1. Indeed.
      At one time, 24% in Alberta would mean a handful of Edmonton ridings for the Liberals. The reality nowadays however is Calgary is the Liberal city, Edmonton is more NDP friendly.

  2. I can only see Skyview turning red, as thats where most of the city's immigrants are. Centre will go conservative and with Rempel as a rising start in the Conservative Party, Confederation will more likely than not go Conservative as well. Remember, even back in the 90s when Reform and the PC's were splitting the vote Reform still won the whole city. On top of that the Liberals are still widely resented here.

    1. Calgary Liberal MPs are like Quebec New Democrat MPs; something that should have happened long ago but did not for various reasons.

      In a decade or two, Calgary will regularly be electing a healthy sized Liberal caucus.

    2. I wouldn't be so sure of that, Edmonton yes I can see, but Calgary is a different story. Many young people here vote the way of their parents and are very much entrepreneurial minded when in comes the economy. They may not as socially conservative as previous generations (although there are still quite a few) but they still see the Conservative party the way to go when it comes to voting.

      I'd give it another 30 or so years for the city to start regularly voting in Liberals. But by all means speculate all you want.

    3. I would disagree. A lot has changed from the 1990s. Calgary has been changing and that is being seen with political trends. Nenshi won twice, the Wildrose was rejected and a personality like Rob Anders is not being tolerated anymore. The Tories barely held on in the Calgary Centre by-election a while back.

      Politics is fluid. The Liberals racked up 60%+ victories in suburban GTA ridings during the Chretien years. Now most of those ridings are held by Conservatives. NDP-leaning rural Saskatchewan is now a Conservative stronghold (though the NDP is poised to make gains in Saskatchewan in future elections). And of course the best example is Quebec.

      I agree Calgary is a very entrepreneurial minded city. Hence, I cannot imagine the NDP winning seats here. But the centrist Liberals will have no problem being competitive in a few of these ridings, especially since the current Liberal leader is actually making an effort to appeal to Alberta voters as opposed to previous ones.

    4. Big Jay,

      There is a very big difference between being competitive and winning seats. Calgary-Skyview has the potential to be competitive for the Liberals but, Deepak Ohbrai is very popular if he runs again he'll win in a cake walk as usual. The Calgary-Centre by-election was only close because of internal Conservative politics that are now settled; Calgary-Confederation may appear competitive because provincially David Swann holds the riding but, that is more a David Swann vote than a Liberal vote. In Confederation the Grits would need a 22% swing from the Conservatives! That simply will not happen

  3. I realize I had an error writing the tory number for Riding 11. The proper number is 64%

  4. One thing to note about the Liberals in Alberta: since about 2006, they've been stronger in Calgary than in Edmonton. The big reason, I believe, is because the NDP have a fighting chance in Edmonton, so the left splits, but in Calgary, the NDP are, at the moment, not a factor, provincially or federally. This could of course change, but it took the Liberals 40 years of hard work to win back Calgary, and the NDP haven't really tried.

    Also, I believe that Skyview, with MLA Darshan Kang running, is the Liberal's best bet... Confederation'll be a bit tricky, as it's pretty varied, with UofC and the area along the river being progressive, and the rest being fairly conservative (they elected Sean Chu muncipally, and he's pretty conservative). If Chima Nkindirim runs, I think Centre'll be a pretty solid lock for the Liberals, though Harvey Locke could also pull it off if he tries again.