Alberta Electoral Map 2019

A closer look at Alberta’s new electoral map

Readers of this blog will know that I have a long-time interest in the topic of redrawing electoral boundaries. Over the next few months I plan to take a closer look at some of the latest electoral district changes in Alberta that will take effect when the next provincial general election is called. If there is an area of the province, or a specific new district that you would like me to look at, please let me know.

South of the border, FiveThirtyEight has come out with a fascinating series of podcast episodes – the Gerrymandering Project – that focuses on how electoral boundaries are redrawn in some parts of the United States of America (we may have some problems in Canada, but they are nothing compared to the extreme level of partisan interference in some US states). Take a listen and enjoy.

7 thoughts on “A closer look at Alberta’s new electoral map

  1. SpaceDawg

    Overall the latest Commission seems to have done a good job, at least in terms of meeting their mandate while providing balance and/or remaining impartial. Each party has ridings that, on paper at least, appear to have gained or lost in strength. For the governing NDP, Banff-Kananskis improved (the removal of Cochrane and addition of Tsuu T’ina) while Central Peace – Notley got much tougher (the addition of Valleyview and Fox Creek), as just two examples. Likewise for the UCP, Airdrie-Cochrane feels like a safer riding than before (the addition of Cochrane & rural areas) whereas Cardston-Siksika got more challenging (the MLA’s recent comments surely didn’t help either).

    Ridings that could use an in-depth look include those listed above, as well as Calgary-Glenmore (gave up it’s strongest orange polls), Morinville-St.Albert (is this winnable for the NDP?), West Yellowhead (does the addition of Whitecourt swing the math UCP?), as well as the interesting decisions that went into the new urban riding of Stony Plain-Spruce Grove and it’s sandwich bread friends in Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland and Drayton Valley-Devon.

  2. Philip Charbonneau

    I think it would be interesting to look at how the new boundaries relate to franco-Albertans and indigenous peoples. Are there ridings with a large percentage of either of these communities? Could be interesting to look at especially with the new census data.

  3. bza

    I was wondering when you would reference the fivethirtyeight gerrymandering series with your interest in electoral boundaries!

    I thought the shout-out at the end of the series to Canada’s electoral boundaries process was nice to hear about. I will think the electoral boundaries usually make sense, and the commission’s are usually open to feedback when they end up drawing something weird.

    Looking forward to your own series!

  4. Gord

    The gerrymandering in the United States is quite blatant and breathtaking. No wonder the House of Representatives re-elects over 90% of incumbents in most cycles. But what do you expect when you have state legislatures (i.e. politicians) drawing the boundaries in most cases?

    Iowa is one of the only exceptions that I am aware of, where redistricting is completely non-partisan. It’s no surprise to me that Iowa is one of the only states where: a) all of the congressional districts make logical/geographic sense, and b) all of the districts are generally quite competitive in most election cycles.

    Closer to home, I’m curious about SpaceDawg’s comment that Cardston-Siksika is now more challenging for the UCP. Surely this is one of the safest areas for small-c conservatives in the province? Cardston-Taber-Warner had the distinction of being the only riding to elect a member of the Alberta Alliance in the pre-Wildrose days, and last election the NDP was a distant, distant third (even with no Liberal candidate). The rest of the new riding is being carved out of Little Bow, again, a longstanding small-c conservative stronghold from the Ray Speaker days. Hard to see how this is anything other than a UCP slam dunk, unless I’m missing something?

  5. Derek Hall

    Grande Prairie has an urban-only riding for the first time ever. Poll by poll historical breakdowns show it could follow Edmonton urban trends – but likely won’t be a sure thing for any party.

  6. Adam

    Agreed on Banff-Kananaskis. Removing Cochrane and its odd melange of cowboys, ranchers, and white-collar folks who commute to Calgary every day has really shifted the balance toward Banff and Canmore with their high immigrant populations, workforce that is dominated by low-paying service/hospitality jobs, and NDP-friendly municipal governments.

    1. Dave

      However, where I live in Springbank has now been included in Canmore and Banff. Springbank has always been conservative. Now we are pushed into Banff Canmore to be offset against a large NDP population. That is Gerrymandering to me.


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