Friday, April 29, 2011

Edmonton East - the NDP could win

With the surge of the NDP across Canada, Alberta may return a second New Democrat to Ottawa.   Former Alberta NDP leader Ray Martin is running again in Edmonton East.

The polling numbers I can get for Alberta has the NDP around 20%(+8.3 points) and the Conservatives around 59% (-5 points).   This is enough of shift that given the NDP strong concentration in parts of Edmonton that Edmonton East comes into play.

I do not think that Edmonton Centre comes into play for the NDP.  Lewis Cardinal is a strong candidate for them, but I am not convinced he is strong enough to make up for how far back they were.   The long term Liberal strength here may has have masked a latent potential vote for the NDP, so it could mean the NDP are closer than people think.

Ultimately I think it would be good for the NDP, the Conservatives and Alberta if the province was not a solid Conservative block.

The two possible extra MPs the NDP could get from Alberta would be a good addition to the caucus and balance out some of the very inexperienced people that are going to be elected for them on May 2nd.  It will also make sure that there will be more of a regional balance for the NDP

The Conservatives and Alberta benefit because the party has to pay more attention to the province.   As long as the province is a solid Conservative block, it is easy to dismiss the needs and concerns of the province.   Losing some seats will make some change to that.
It has come to my attention from Canadian Election Watch that there was an Alberta poll done by Environics.   It shows there is very little movement in support in the province.   This poll would make all my comments on the two Edmonton ridings moot, though it should be noted it was released yesterday but the polling was done April 15-21, which is an age ago in this election.

That said, here is a quote from the poll that highlights the ridings I was talking about:
The only ridings in Alberta that are thought to be competitive are in Edmonton, where the NDP holds Edmonton Strathcona and where the ridings of Edmonton Centre and Edmonton East are being targeted by the opposition parties and in Edmonton-Sherwood Park there is a strong independent candidate. The survey shows that while the Conservatives are far ahead in Edmonton with 52 percent of the vote, NDP support is at 20 percent across the city. Liberal and Green support is 14% and 8%, respectively. The Liberals are showing some signs of life in Calgary where they enjoy the support of 20 percent of voters.

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