Canada Elections 2021: Which Alberta Districts to Watch For Possible Political Change | The Canadian News

It is well known that politically Alberta is a conservative province and a place with many guaranteed seats for federal conservatives at election time.

However, experts say the entire province is not necessarily a dunk for Erin O’Toole and her team this time around, with other favorite games, as well as fringe games, gaining popularity.

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According to Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt, almost all walks in Alberta “will be won by conservatives with uneven margins.”

“It’s the demographics that are different in those districts (the ones that are likely to change).”

“If you look at where liberals (progressives) are doing well, they are in urban centers, but in specific types of urban centers: either downtown (Edmonton Center, Calgary Center) or college campuses like the Confederacy (of Calgary), where the University of Calgary is, (Edmonton) Strathcona, where the University of Alberta is, or large visible minority communities like (Edmonton) Mill Woods, Griesbach, (Calgary) Skyview. “

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MRU Associate Professor of Policy Studies Lori Williams said issues like affordable child care and a strong environmental plan could be deciding factors for favorite parties among voters in the constituencies at stake.

Political strategist Zain Velji said that while Alberta’s other constituencies are unlikely to change, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will vote for O’Toole’s Conservatives.

“Erin O’Toole… has been running a much more centrist, almost PC-style campaign. Much pleasing Quebec, much getting into the soup with the other leaders regarding some of the more progressive issues, ”he said.

“He’s going to pay a price for that in Alberta and that price will be a reduction, maybe not on seats, but certainly by a percentage.”

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Analysts also believe that as voters cast their votes in a federal election, the politics of the province’s state will be a major factor in their decisions.

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“You might see what happens on Monday as a litmus test for Jason Kenney and a kind of proxy war for Jason Kenney, because I think he’s on the ballot,” Velji said.

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All three political experts said it is notable that favorite federal leaders spent little time in Alberta during the course of the campaign, indicating that the province is a “flyover country” and not a priority in the battle for seats. .

“They haven’t spent a lot of time here because there just aren’t a lot of votes at stake,” Williams said, adding that it could hurt every party leader when it comes to gaining ground.

Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland is campaigning in Edmonton with Edmonton Mill Woods candidate Ben Henderson on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2021.

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“There is particularly the possibility that the People’s Party of Canada, which is voting about 13 percent in Alberta, there is the possibility that it will draw votes from the Conservatives and in some constituencies that could make the difference between a victory or a defeat for the Conservatives “.

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Bratt agreed that fringe parties like the PPC and the Maverick Party could make some percentage gains in Alberta in this election, but said those votes are unlikely to be decisive for the Conservative Party of Canada.

“Even if the Mavericks worked with the Popular Party, with some of the independents, they still weren’t going to win. What they were going to do was take the support (of a conservative candidate) from 80 percent, reduce it to 55 percent. “

Here are the Alberta districts to watch as the votes start rolling in Monday night:

Downtown Calgary

Williams said that while liberal candidate Sabrina Grover is not as well known in the Calgary Center as incumbent Greg McLean, recent news that those who were campaigning with her have been the target of threats and attacks has raised her profile.

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“And I think he has been campaigning quite well on the ground, quite effectively. Certainly, in the interviews, she has shown to be very, very knowledgeable and competent, not only in matters in which she has experience, but in what the Liberal Party represents, what is the platform (of Justin Trudeau), what are its advantages ” , Williams. said.

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“She is able to defend him from criticism quite effectively.”

Calgary Confederation

Political observers are also keeping an eye out for the Calgary Confederation, with Liberal candidate Murray Sigler running with a high chance of winning.

“Murray Siegler, I think he has an incredibly high profile, very well known,” Williams said.

“It seems that he is the best combination of liberal and conservative, he is running for the liberals against a candidate who did well in the last election.”

Calgary skyview

Acting Calgary Councilor George Chahal is a frontrunner in the Calgary Skyview campaign, and if he wins his seat, all three experts believe he will likely be appointed to a cabinet position.

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Along with a strong track record of constituting his constituents at the municipal level, Chahal comes from a strong family political background, and observers say he has run a strong campaign that makes Calgary Skyview “the one to watch to see how good it is. the night of the liberals will have. “

“Because George Chahal is basically a current city councilman and has extensive experience representing at least part of that constituency, and has been campaigning quite hard in that regard, I think he is considered a pretty strong contender.” Williams said.

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Downtown Edmonton

According to Velji, the Edmonton Center will almost certainly flip, but the big question at stake is: how strong is the support for the NDP? Will that work in favor of the incumbent?

“That is a progressive place, there is no question about it,” he said.

“But the problem is always the split vote between the NDP and the Liberals. I think the fact that it’s still a discussion between the Liberals and the NDP in terms of who could win is probably very good news for the Conservatives because it gives them the way. “

Edmonton griesbach

“It looks like Griesbach could be on the line for the new Democrats, oddly,” Williams explained.

“And you will notice that Jagmeet Singh visited Edmonton, but not Calgary, it just shows you that there are many more things to work with there.”

Velji added to that, saying that candidate Blake Desjarlais has also had Janis Irwin and Brian Mason join his campaign. He also noted that incumbent Conservative MP Keith Diotte is a somewhat divisive candidate.

Edmonton Strathcona

Political observers agree that incumbent NDP candidate Heather McPherson is almost guaranteed her seat in Edmonton Strathcona for another term.

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“If that, for whatever reason, doesn’t stay orange, it could be kind of a gauge in terms of how progressive parties and Alberta in general might be doing,” Velji said.

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