Jim Prentice is dwarfed by a giant photo of himself on the PC campaign bus at a stop in Edmonton this week.

Will 2015 be an lucky or unlucky #13 for Alberta’s PC Party?

CALGARY, ALBERTA

On May 5, 2015, the Progressive Conservatives will face Alberta voters for the thirteenth time since they first formed government in 1971. Since that election 44 years ago, the PCs have dominated over their opposition.

Rachel Notley NDP Alberta

Rachel Notley

It remains difficult to believe that the PC will not form another majority government, but there are indications that the opposition parties could do much better than initially expected. Some political watchers have even suggested that the PCs could form their first minority government.

With the most money and resources at their disposal, the PCs are the only party running a true “province-wide” campaign, but recent polls indicate the two main opposition parties have an opportunity to make gains.

NDP leader Rachel Notley appears to be enjoying an unprecedented bump in support in Alberta. Ms. Notley’s campaign has focused on job creation and health care, contrasting her party’s plan with Jim Prentice‘s party’s 44 year record. Clear signs, and many lawn signs, are indicating that an NDP surge in Edmonton, Lethbridge, and pockets of Calgary, could boost the NDP into Official Opposition status (the NDP previously formed official opposition from 1982 to 1993).

Brian Jean Wildrose Leader

Brian Jean

The current Official Opposition Wildrose Party, now focused on rural Alberta and cities like Red Deer and Grande Prairie, have made opposition to government spending and tax increases a central theme of their campaign. Wildrose leader Brian Jean was chosen little more than one month ago, so it is difficult to believe he alone is the inspiration for the bump in Wildrose support. More likely, there are many voters who still feel comfortable parking their votes with the Wildrose, which is why Mr. Prentice’s party has begun increasing their attacks on their conservative opposition.

Unless the PCs have given up their chances in Edmonton, we should expect PC cabinet ministers to soon start lining up to denounce Ms. Notley as well.

Because of the two opposition party’s different regional support, there might be only two or three constituencies across Alberta where both the NDP and Wildrose in a real competition with the PC candidate.

Joe Ceci Calgary NDP

Joe Ceci

One of those constituencies appears to be Calgary-Fort. Popular five-term PC MLA Wayne Cao has decided to retire from politics, leaving the PCs with rookie candidate Andy Nguyen. The NDP have nominated former Alderman Joe Ceci, the party’s most high-profile Calgary candidate in decades. The Wildrose have nominated Jeevan Mangat, who came within 200 votes of defeating Mr. Cao in the 2012 election.

Four months ago, there appeared to be a growing consensus that Mr. Prentice would lead the PCs to win nearly all the seats in the Legislative Assembly. And while it is never safe to bet against the PCs, with twelve consecutive election wins in their belt, with seventeen days left before election day, it appears that Albertans could send a very strong contingent of opposition MLAs to the legislature.


I have updated the unofficial list of Alberta Election candidates with information released by Elections Alberta after today’s nomination deadline.

9 thoughts on “Will 2015 be an lucky or unlucky #13 for Alberta’s PC Party?

  1. AlbertaRusH

    PCAA won’t remember the good scare they earned in 2015 far longer than the good advice they received during the campaign. After E-day you won’t find a Conservative voter in Alberta, but Prentice will have a majority and a mean streak. Time for Timid Tories from tiny towns to suck up to stupid and s&@t down on smart …again.

    Reply
  2. Jerrymacgp

    There are a lot of rural seats with neither a Liberal nor an Alberta Party candidate, and quite a few in Edmonton & Calgary as well. Voters seeking a change of government have only two real choices: swing hard right to the Wildrose, or gently left to the NDP. The Alberta Party cannot even form government, even if each and every one of her candidates were to win; they aren’t running the necessary 44 candidates. As for the Liberals, while they are running 56, they would have to really excel at the ballot box to win government.

    Reply
  3. Rene

    @gerrymacgp

    Only 2 choices Wildrose or NDP??

    From far left to far right. Albertans just don’t think they react.

    What kind of government would the Wildrose give Albertans? We do know the debt the NDP left in BC, Sask, and Ontario.

    Reply
  4. Smokey

    Rene, the NDP ironically have a better track record in terms of fiscal management. I was shocked to learn this.

    http://www.ndp.ca/news/conservatives-death-bed-conversion-to-balanced-budgets-rings-hollow

    Its merely propaganda we were led, and is fictitious. The obvious retort is that they were only given the mandate of only so many governments to screw up, and they have not created business friendly environments. Its easy to see why they balance more budgets, they tax more.

    Ontario is the classic example of Liberal and NDP governments. It was on display under Bobby Rae, and is a mess currently. Saskatchewan NDP actually fixed the Grant Devine mess. They balanced the books at the expense of the brain drain they created and poor business environment, When Wall took over he got labelled as the savior, when much of the praise should of gone to Calvert and Romanow, Its like the opposite of Bush and Obama, Obama got given a burning bag a doggy doo, and got blamed for Bush’s deregulation, government bailouts, and a fat government. The wheels are sent in motion good or bad from the previous management.

    If the NDP or WIldrose take over they for sure will take heat, it will take a few years to clean up the PC bloat. NDP prudent management may seem like a farce, but at least one can speculate on that. The PC’s won’t change course on top down economics, eating at the trough, and fiscal ignorance.

    Reply
  5. TC

    I consider a PC minority government a win for the opposition, as the opposition parties will actually matter.

    Reply
  6. Peter Moss

    Hopefully when we all wake up on May 5, it won’t still be Groundhog Day. 44 years of corruption is enough.

    Reply
  7. vic goosen

    Hey im a rookie candidate in fort too. I’m gonna make a little more noise before the end of this election. Go alberta party whoo.

    Reply
  8. realist

    Jerrymac, in all honesty it makes no sense for the Libs or AP, to waste their time trying to woo tone deaf rural voters the continually evoke the dark evil mysterious tyrranical Pierre Trudeau, as those simpletons drink 1970’s koolaid still today, despite not acknowlwedging that it was PC Premier Lougheed at the time, that made the economic deal for Alberta during that time, when the entire country was suffering. They wont listen to reason and rationality and are eternally scared. Rural bumpkins are best served by conservative parties that continually pander to them and then throw them under the bus, when it is convenient. Given the snap election schedule, its certainly asinine for the Libs or AP to waste their paltry resourses reaching out to the ideologically entrenched rural idiocracy, despite the optics of not having a full slate.

    Reply
  9. surrealist

    @peter…Albertan$ dont mind running as members nor do they care voting for corruption. Power ha$ its benefits. Albertans need to really look at what kind of human beings they are and what they have become.

    Reply

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