Saturday, April 18, 2015

#abvote - Final Candidate Counts

Yesterday was the nomination deadline for political parties in Alberta, meaning that everything should be set in stone by now. Here are the final numbers:

Progressive Conservative: 87 out of 87
New Democratic Party: 87 out of 87
Wildrose Party: 86 out of 87
Liberal Party: 56 out of 87
Alberta Party: 38 36 out of 87
Green Party: 24 out of 87

While the Liberals have fallen far short of a full slate, the good news for them is that they have candidates in almost every riding they'd even have close to a shot in, with one glaring exception - Edmonton-McClung, despite the riding's strong Liberal base (last held from '04-'08, 25% in 2012), has no ALP candidate for this election.

The Wildrosers, meanwhile, only lack a candidate in Edmonton-Strathcona, NDP leader Rachel Notley's seat, though supposedly they had one there that messed up the forms. The Alberta Party and Green Party nominated the same number of candidates they had in 2012.

So, in the end, does any of this matter? Well, let's take the most obvious example I can see: West Yellowhead. This rural central Alberta riding, currently represented by Finance Minister Robin Campbell who only scored 44% or 4,405 votes in 2012, has no Alberta Party or Liberal candidates, who together accounted for just under 2,500 votes in 2012. Where will those 2,500 voters go? To the Wildrose candidate who will charge ahead against the Finance Minister, or to the NDP candidate who will try and make a play for the "progressive" vote? Maybe back to the PCs or the non-voters?

Or how about the previously mentioned Edmonton-McClung, where 3,800 voters need to find a new candidate to back against the controversial David Xiao, or Medicine Hat where 1,100 former Liberal voters could become crucial to the survival or defeat of former Wildroser Blake Pedersen.

"Orphaned voters," particularly of the Liberal variety in this election, could become major players in particular ridings, especially if the fight stretches out to rural Alberta. It could make an already fluid electorate even more so, because who knows where these people will go.


  1. I think a good portion of "orphaned Liberals" will vote PC, they'll begrudgingly pick the Devil they know. For true die-hard Liberals a vote for the NDP is a nail in the coffin of the Alberta Liberal party. History has shown most Westminster political system develop or remain two party systems, occasionally two party-plus systems. A NDP victory or even Official Opposition may spell the end of the ALP especially with what may happen to the PCs.

    1. The NDP is polling ahead of the PCs in most polls. These votes are coming from primarily Liberals and Red Tories.

      I don't think that the orphaned Liberal vote is really that significant. The Liberals got less than 10% of the vote in 2012 when the Liberals shifted to Redford to block Smith.

      I also do not think there are enough big-L Liberals in Alberta to make a difference. Two MLA's may get re-elected due to their local popularity but that's it.

      Post-election, I could see the Liberals, Alberta Party and Green Party finally putting aside disagreements and merging into one political entity for survival. Maybe they would take it to another level and merge with the NDP - though it would be harder to negotiate terms in their favour with a large NDP caucus.

    2. Yes, the Liberals, Alberta Party voters and Greens will all merge to form... a party that does no better than 15%, on a good day! Huzzah!

    3. What polls are you reading Big Jay? I've seen one poll with the NDP in the lead.

      The "orphaned Liberal vote is not that significant but, in tight three way races may make a difference. I don't think we'll see a merger of any parties after the election, the dust will need to settle and after an election like this one that may take some time.

    4. The NDP are leading the PCs (most cases still a statistical tie), in the last Forum, Mainstreet and Think HQ polls. 308 has the rolling averages at 28.6% for the Dippers and 25.2% for the Tories. This is not taking the consideration of the 1AB vote polls which are skewed in favour of the NDP.

      Wildrose is usually leading the pack though.

  2. With such few candidates I do not see the Liberals gaining anywhere. This is a sign of a much deeper problem in the Liberal backrooms.