Sunday, February 10, 2008

Alberta Election 2008: NDP Races to Watch

According to the polls, the NDP has little chance to make a breakthrough in Alberta’s provincial election. In fact, there are only a handful of seats where the party is competitive (and they are all in Edmonton). For New Democrats, these are the ridings to watch:

EDMONTON-BEVERLY-CLAREVIEW Currently represented by NDP MLA (and former Alberta NDP leader) Ray Martin. The New Democrats took this seat from the Tories in 2004 by a comfortable margin. Expect the NDP to retain this seat.

EDMONTON-HIGHLANDS-NORWOOD NDP leader Brian Mason has represented this riding since winning a 2000 by-election to replace former Alberta NDP leader Pam Barrett. Mason should be easily re-elected by a wide margin.

EDMONTON-CALDER Rookie NDP MLA David Eggen is the incumbent in this riding. He wrestled the seat away from the Tories in 2004 . Eggen won the riding by fewer than 500 votes last time around, but expect him to easily win re-election as an incumbent.

EDMONTON-STRATHCONA Former NDP leader and current NDP MLA Raj Pannu has decided not to seek re-lection in this NDP stronghold. In his place, The NDP is running labour lawyer Rachel Notley, daughter of former NDP leader Grant Notley. Expect the party to dump major resources into keeping this seat.

EDMONTON-GLENORA The NDP finished a close 2nd place to the Liberals in this low-income riding in 2004. In 2008, the party is running Arlene Chapman as its candidate. She is well-known within the party and within the community having served as an NDP staffer and as executive director of the Edmonton Social Planning Council. She ran in the 2006 federal election, garnering just under 20% of the vote in Edmonton East. This riding represents the party’s best chance for a new seat in 2008, especially if the Liberal vote collapses.

EDMONTON-ELLERSLIE This is a true long-shot for the NDP, but in the event that the Liberal and Tory campaigns takes a nosedive, this riding could fall into the party’s lap. This was one of very few ridings where the NDP won over 20% of the vote in 2004. Retired university professor Marilyn Assheton-Smith is once again carrying the NDP banner.

For consistent coverage of the Alberta election, be sure to consult the Calgary Grit and Daveberta on a regular basis.


Kuri said...

The party doesn't need to dump major resources into keeping Edmonton Strathcona provincial - Rachel Notley has already exceeded fundraising expectations in the pre-writ period by 200 to 250 percent and her sign locations on the first day exceed what previous campaigns had for the entire writ period. She has it sewn up.

As a Mill Creek resident, I'm going to add Edmonton Mill Creek to the list. It's easily as much a long-shot as Ellerslie, but the northwest area of the constituency (bordering Edmonton Strathcona) is very NDP. If we can identify enough voters and build a bit south of the Whitemud, it's possible to take it. The NDP has held this seat before with Laurie Lang and the constituency association is more organized then they have been in decades. If not this election cycle, then the next one we'll take it.

daveberta said...

Interesting run down, though I'd take Edmonton-Glenora off the list for 2008. In 2004, Larry Booi was a big name candidate in Glenora for the NDs. In 2008, they had to find a replacement candidate a week or two before the campaign after their original candidate stepped down.

Not sure about Mill Creek, ND candidate Stephen Anderson seems to have a lot of signs up on the Strathcona bordered area around 82nd Ave, but I'm not sure about the southern half of Mill Creek.