The three candidates eliminated on the first-ballot vote to choose the next leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives have all announced their support for front-runner Gary Mar. Carrying 40% of the vote on the first-ballot, it is understandable why the three would endorse the front-runner in terms of both personal political calculation and party unity.
Scattering a little differently, the group of MLAs who supported the three eliminated candidates have begun to throw their support among the remaining candidates.
Leadership candidate Doug Horner held a media conference yesterday to announce that Ted Morton supporter Edmonton-Mill Woods MLA Carl Benito was joining his campaign.
Other supporters of Dr. Morton, Calgary-Lougheed MLA Dave Rodney, Edmonton-Calder MLA Doug Elniski, and Edmonton-McClung MLA David Xiao, are backing second place candidate Alison Redford.
The only MLA to follow Dr. Morton’s lead into Mr. Mar’s camp is St. Albert MLA Ken Allred. It has been speculated that Housing Minister and Calgary-Egmont MLA Jonathan Denis may endorse Mr. Mar this week. (UPDATE: Minister Denis has endorsed Mar).
Including Minister Denis, there remain five MLA supporters of Dr. Morton who have yet to throw their support behind any of the top three candidates (as far as I am aware). Those remaining MLAs are Livingstone-Macleod MLA Evan Berger, Highwood MLA George Groeneveld, Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview MLA Tony Vandermeer, and Edmonton-Manning MLA Peter Sandhu.
Doug Griffiths‘ only caucus supporter, Calgary-North Hill MLA Kyle Fawcett, is also backing Alison Redford.
Meanwhile, Dr. Morton’s campaign manager Sam Armstrong, remained critical of Mr. Mar’s candidacy. Mr. Armstrong told the Calgary Herald in an interview that:
“It’s the same old, Old Boys’ Club around Gary that’s been there forever”
Mr. Orman’s endorsement of Mr. Mar was also not enough to convince his campaign manager Patrick Walsh to come along. Mr. Walsh is now supporting Ms. Redford’s campaign.
Check out the Alberta PC Leadership page on this blog to track MLA support for candidates on the second ballot.
8 replies on “second-ballot math: alberta tory caucus splits between redford, mar, horner.”
While it looks like Kelley Charlebois’ bestest buddy has this in the bag, if this race goes like either of the last two, Gary Mar will lose. Alison Redford is hoping for a replay of ’92, when all of the also-rans threw their support behind the frontrunner, and the #2 candidate won anyway. Doug Horner hopes for a repeat of ’06, when the 3rd place Edmonton area farmer with 15% of the vote pulled off the win.
In 1992 it was a virtual tie between Klein and Betkowski. Now it’s 41% to 19%. No repeat there.
In 2006 Dinning was in the 30’s and Mar is stronger. Fait accompli in 2011.
I think Albertans are looking for a change, and realize that keeping the “same old boys club in there forever” leads to complacency and back room deals. It erodes democracy. We all know this. That is why Alison Redford may have a chance – she represents change, a shake up, a fresh perspective. She is also highly educated and has an impressive background. I think she has a real chance to win it.
Sherry, that would be true if “Albertans” were voting. But they aren’t; less than one percent of the population of Alberta, who are PC members, will be voting. Unless Redford can sign up thousands upon thousands of new PCs to vote for her, she’ll have a hard time indeed overcoming Mar’s advantage with the establishment.
Excuse me, I should have said less than 3%.
Albertans are looking for anything but Danielle Smith and the extremists in her party. One of the worst is Richard Jones who makes nothing but stupid comments on twitter.
When Morton justified his decision by saying that the minute you get into politics “you begin to compromise your principles because you’re part of a team”, it was obvious that all of us non-PC’s had to buy memberships so we could vote for Redford. Four more years of the Mar-Morton-Orman Old Boy’s Club would be too much to bear.
How do I vote on Oct. 2 if I am out of town?