I said it (Twitter ‘ed it actually) a couple of months ago and a few weeks ago; that I thought Alison Redford might pull off the win. I had no basis for my prediction, it was a just a gut feeling. Now that they are going into the second round I’m getting a clearer picture of how this might come about.
Despite umpteen current MLA’s lining up behind Gary Mar and his high percentage in the first go round, there seems to a lot of hatred out there working against him. I think in order for Gary to win he has to achieve his 50% at the first count on October 1st. If it goes to the second count it will go to Alison.
Here’s why (in my opinion)
Gary Mar’s supporters likely won’t put a second choice on the ballot. They will want to avoid a “Stelmach” or “Dion” third placer coming up the middle. Redford and Horner supporters are far less likely to be worried about this; their main beef is with Gary and keeping him out of office. They will mark a second choice. Redford supporters for Horner and vice versa.
I think Horner will be in third. This is partly based on the showing after the first round and I believe Redford has a more organized campaign. (Granted, I could just be thinking this way because I know some of the people involved and I live in Calgary where she has a greater presence.) Either way, I think his supporters will be quite comfortable in putting a ‘2’ beside Alison’s name. She is from their current cabinet, but still new enough and she is saying the right things to offer that glimmer of hope the PC’s so desperately need.
Conversely Mar, is so many things they are trying to distance themselves from. Bussing in “supporters”; rumors of leaking a members list to media; rumors of offering plum positions to those who back him; generally old-school distasteful politics.
Should Redford pull it off… well she will have monumental, if not impossible task ahead of her. As I understand it Alison has the backing of a handful of MLA’s: Doug Elniski, Kyle Fawcett, Art Johnston, David Xiao and Dave Rodney. With the exception of Rodney they are all first term MLA’s and Johnston won’t even be running in the next general election, having lost his local nomination. She will have to regroup the other MLA’s; mostly made up of long term members who now clearly stand behind Mar, and there are a LOT of them.
If I’m wrong though and Mar wins, there are two things I’m looking forward to.
1) The caucus funding to the PC’s to be cut since they no longer will have a Leader in an elected position.
2) Their caucus putting out press releases, but not being able to name their “yet to be elected as an MLA, Leader”.
If you aren’t familiar with the background, one might say, “That’s absurd. Why would those things happen?’ You can read it for yourself, here and here. It’s exactly what the PC’s did to the Wildrose.
PS: I don't choose the ads that display on my blog and in no way support nor endorse any candidate who might happen to show up. :)