With the signs looking as if the people of Alberta are going to the polls today, I've decided to just add a little projection page to the site for those interested. Its a little basic for the moment, but I'll add in riding-level numbers as soon as I can make them look halfway presentable.
With every new poll or major campaign update that comes out, I'll try to do a quick post just to keep people abreast of the goings on - starting with the current state of elections readiness among the parties, as far as I can tell.
As expected for the governing party with a super majority calling an early election, the PCs are pretty much on track to nominate candidates in all 87 ridings (in fact, I believe they're just missing one in Calgary-McCall, held by the Liberals) and are well prepared. There was some news about internal wranglings within the party organization, but I doubt its anything serious or will have much of an impact.
In terms of fundraising, as should also be expected, the PCs likely have a huge advantage over the opposition parties. According to last year's financial statements (you can see all of them here), the PCs had over $3-million in contributions - far and above the other parties, and I suspect with Prentice as leader the money has continued to roll in for the first quarter of 2015.
The Wildrosers are far behind in the candidate counts, with their slate only currently half-filled (43 of 87 ridings), with big gaps in and around Edmonton and central Alberta, not surprising considering their poor support in those regions in 2012 to begin with.
There are a few notables running: Brian Jean, the new leader, will be running in the northern riding of Fort McMurray-Conklin against cabinet member Don Scott; former Strathcona County mayor Linda Osinchuk is running in Sherwood Park; and former Canadian Taxpayers Federation president Derek Fildebrandt will be running to reclaim Strathmore-Brooks in southern Alberta. I don't see Rob Anders anywhere, unfortunately!
The Wildrosers raised $2.1-million in 2014, a competitive number but still behind the PCs, and I suspect that number has gone down since Smith's flight from the party. Still, they're far more well positioned than the other opposition parties.
Alberta Liberal Party
The Alberta Liberals are struggling, to put it bluntly. With the centrists fleeing to the PCs in 2012 to block the Wildrosers, the decision of most of its caucus to move on to other offices, and now the rise of the NDP as the standard-bearer of the centre-left, the ALP will be hard pressed to put on a good show for this election. Being wiped out is not out of the cards, though some people are still going out of their way to support them - Warren Kinsella is going out there to give some sort of talk, though I don't think he's there as a strategist.
The party only currently has 22 (or so) nominated candidates, with a lot of them around the Calgary area where leader David Swann is centered and where the party has the best chance of surviving. Meanwhile in a couple ridings so far, the Liberal candidates have been endorsed by other parties; incumbent Laurie Blakeman in Edmonton-Centre has been endorsed by the Greens and the Alberta Party, though I'd like to point out they didn't even run candidates in her riding in 2012 and she still almost lost. Matt Dawe also got the endorsement of the Greens in Red Deer-North.
The ALP had just over $360K in contributions last year, the lowest of the major parties and a far cry from the days when they raised nearly $1-million. I have some doubts that number has done up in 2015.
New Democratic Party
The NDP have nominated or soon-to-be-nominated candidates in all 87 ridings, showing that you can indeed be prepared for a surprise election. Rachel Notley has her ducks in a row, and will be well positioned to offer centre-left Albertans a place to go - it is very possible they could sweep Edmonton, though let's not place any bets yet.
The NDP raised $776K in contributions last year, and I highly expect their numbers to have gone up in 2015's first quarter. It is still far behind either the PCs or the Wildrosers, but they can run a strong campaign on that, so kudos.
The only other parties to keep an eye on for this election are the Alberta Party and the Greens. I'm not sure they can win any seats (especially not the Greens), but they could play a spoiler role in quite a few ridings.
The Alberta Party in particular could be a threat, maybe getting up to 5% of the vote. Leader Glen Clark will be running again in Calgary-Elbow, which he almost won in a by-election, however like the Liberals they're pretty far behind in nominations, with only 28 of 87 candidates nominated (29 if you could Blakeman, which I refuse to do). The party only received $108K in contributions last year, however.
The Greens are also nominating candidates here and there, and could feasible have some impact. Leader Janet Keeping will be running in Calgary, but the party raised just under $13K in 2014, so how much of a threat they really represent, we'll see.
If you're interested in a closer look on the elections, I highly recommend Dave Cournoyer's blog, as he'll have far better insights than I will.