The second week of Alberta's most bizarre provincial election campaign has come and gone, and now things are starting to form up a little better than before - or, if you view it another way, things are crazier than ever.
Let's start with polls.
Polls - Week 2
Google Surveys (April 10-12): NDP - 32%, WRP - 28%, PC - 19%, ALP - 12%, AP - 9%
Mainstreet (April 13): 31%, 30%, 24%, 10%, 5%
Google Surveys (April 16-18): 34%, 22%, 20%, 14%, 9%
Mainstreet (April 20): 35%, 31%, 25%, 4%, 4%
ThreeHundredEight: 35.1%, 31.7%, 26.2%, 4.2%
Canadian Election Atlas: 30.4%, 29.1%, 25.0%, 10.7% (from April 16)
My projection average: 30.9%, 29.9%, 27.9%, 8.4%
Because we have only two pollsters, and because they're two very different pollsters, the numbers kind of swung around this week in a bit of a wild way, but the general consensus seems to be that the NDP are surging while the Wildrosers are starting to make up lost ground. The only one that disagrees with at least the last half of that idea is Google Survey's poll done on behalf of 1ABVote on April 16-18, which has the Wildrosers at only 20% - that seems unlikely, at least to me. Still, I've included it in my rolling average; I fully accept I may regret that decision later.
There were also a couple riding-specific polls done, one in particular being the most interesting.
A poll done in Calgary-Fort by Mainstreet Technologies put the former city councillor and NDP star candidate Joe Ceci at 43%, ahead of the Wildrose candidate at 32% and far, far ahead of the PCs who won the riding in 2012, who sit at 18%.
Another poll done by Mainstreet puts the NDP ahead in the riding of Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview, one they hold but is perennially on the edge. That poll had incumbent NDP MLA Deron Bilous at 42%, compared to his PC opponent, former city councillor Tony Caterina, at 21%.
If you were to ask me what ridings I think should be polled (not that you are but its my blog), I'd ask for the following:
Why these ridings? Because they're ones I would call the "tipping edge" districts - for example, if we see in Sherwood Park that the Wildrosers are leading, we can suspect that they may have some strength in the Edmonton suburbs that could hamper any NDP surge; or if we see the NDP leading in West Yellowhead, we know that the Dippers are gaining actual traction outside of the two main cities, and could very well make a play for something more serious than Opposition; and if we see either the PCs leading in Calgary-Varsity, we should possibly temper our ideas about the Prentice regime being overthrown, because that should in theory be one of the first Calgary ridings to drop off for them. And if we see the NDP leading in Calgary-Buffalo, then holy hell run Liberals, run for your lives!!
Its been a busy week for everyone, and all parties now have a platform out to peruse, including the NDP, which you can read here. I don't see anything groundbreaking but I suppose thats the entire idea right now - you've got the momentum, so don't screw it up.
An interesting bit of news currently out is Notley's acceptance of a possible coalition or ad-hoc minority governing situation if it does so happen that the PCs are returned with a minority or something along those lines - even with the Wildrosers. That is by no means surprising, but you have to wonder how it will play out among the electorate - these kinds of open declarations tend to have consequences, good and bad, hence why politicians tend to pussyfoot around them.
Meanwhile, former Redford chief of staff Stephen Carter is pushing air through his mouth hole again, saying that David Swann's decision to avoid a merger with the Alberta Party could cause the ALP's "death." Yes because right now, the ALP could have been at 8% instead of 4% in the recent Mainstreet poll, and they'd be ruling the province by now I'm sure.
Here are some facts: the ALP is a much larger, much more efficient, and I'll say it despite its current situation, much more organized party than Clark's outfit. Any "merger" or whatever would benefit the Alberta Party organization much more than the Liberals, who would have some new blood but more than likely face the same problems it is now - being sidelined by the surging NDP and the PC/Wildrose pissing match. Huzzah.
I have respect for Carter's wunderkind ability to get Redford elected and keep the PCs from imploding in 2012, no doubt about that - far more successful than I have ever been in my brief political management career, or probably ever will be. But, on this, I think the dude is just pushing an agenda, or maybe a legacy for himself other than "I'm the guy who gave you Redford" - who knows, who cares. He isn't even involved this campaign so he is basically irrelevant at this point.
In Wildrose news, some people got upset about your wife's pie. The wording in an event flyer posted by Wildrose MLA Rick Strankman, which was billed as a "Bring Your Wife's Pie," raised the ire of some folks but, while I can see how it was stupid, I don't necessarily see it as relevant either - just a mistake, calm yaselves.
Wildrose Leader Brian Jean let it pass, but he did not allow Russ Kuykendall, the prospective candidate in Calgary-Varsity, get by so unscathed after it surfaced that he had posted some critical things on a blog post concerning a gay pride brunch being held at a church - in 2007 (!!). I don't know what he currently believes, but I do think its a tad ridiculous that a statement from almost ten years ago is still haunting you. In the end, I guess Jean is just trying to avoid being Hunspergered.
No media endorsements so far. If you're interested in more in-depth and strikingly adept coverage of election news, check out Daveberta's blog.