I am a little surprised that Calgary North Hill has not garnered much attention. I believe it is a constituency that the PC's will lose in this election. Maybe everyone already realizes that; thus the media is not bothering to cover it.
Kyle Fawcett is running for the PC's. He certainly cannot rely on riding Ed Stelmachs' coattails to victory, since he does not have any in Calgary. The coattails of the incumbent, Richard Magnus are pretty short as well; in 2004 of all the PC's in Calgary, he won with the lowest percentage at just 43.2. (Editted Feb. 24; to correct wording. Thanks to Bobblehead at Calgary Puck forum for pointing it out)
In that election his vote count dropped by over 2500 from the previous election. Yet, voter turnout from 2001 to 2004 only dropped about 900. Where did the other votes go? The difference was picked up by the Green and Liberal candidates. Protest votes perhaps?
The PC's are certainly no more popular today than they were in 2004. Add to this the fact that many Magnus supporters have now "come over to the Wild side" and PC fundraising is in slump in Calgary; surely they realize this is a lost seat.
I am not a political strategist that can fully analyze the outcome with any certainty; but let's explore a potential scenerio for fun.
First a couple of facts:
- voter turnout has been 10-11000 for the last three elections, total electors has been fairly constant around 22000.
- this election the total electors has gone up to nearly 27000, roughly a 15% increase.
- this is the first time in many elections that there are six candidates running.
Now for some speculation, starting with the least significant:
This is the first time since 1979 they are running a candidate in North Hill. I have met Jim Wright, he seems like a nice enough guy and if he can get some to swallow ...." advocating mandatory inclusion of the teaching of the Origins Theory of Intelligent Design or Creation as a viable model alternative to the theory of evolution. True scientific evaluation of both theories and their probabilities should be applied."
Or this one: "…that a marriage is valid only when it is a marriage between one unmarried man and one unmarried woman."
Their slogan is "RU Ready?" I suspect the answer will be a resounding; NO.
They have been dropping in vote count since 1986. When I went in search of John Chan's website I found this. It would appear he is stuck in the 2006 Federal election or perhaps he is gearing up for the next one. Since he is a perennial on at the Federal level; he may hold off another decline in vote total.
I couldn't find too much out about Kevin Maloney; suffice to say he is not nearly as strong a candidate as Susan Stratton was in the 2004 election. In my opinion they would have been better off giving her a second go at it. I will give Kevin credit though, he is at least interested in getting a candidates forum organized.
Pat Murray ran in North Hill in 2004 and garnered just over 3000 votes, as mentioned earlier, some of these could have been protest votes. Given the increase in population and it being his second time round, I suspect he will have a similar result this time.
As mentioned Magnus had already experienced a serious decline in support; Kyle Fawcett is an unknown in a time when PC support is at an all time low in Calgary, may very well register numbers similar to the Liberal candidate.
This would be me.... Jane Morgan. Brent Best ran here in 2004 under the Alberta Alliance banner; he was a name on ballot candidate, the party was very new and was considered a "rural" party. I have run before in Elbow, with a very low showing. However; much has changed in the past nine months.
We have had many issues that have split the province; Edmonton vs Calgary; urban vs rural; oil & gas vs everyone else. Our policies have also matured since 2004 and we are no longer considered "radical". With that has come a significant increase in party support; our largest percentage of members now come from urban centres.
People are looking for a fiscally conservative, socially moderate; dare I say "libertarian" alternative and they are finding that in the Wildrose Alliance. Many PC supporters have come to us; many who previously stayed home will now come out to vote WAP. In the recent leadership debate, Paul Hinman came out very strong and demonstrated we have a common sense approach that many can identify with.
Now let's put some numbers to these speculations:
SC: Let's give him 175 votes. Trevor garnered that many in Elbow by-election.
NDP: I will give him 725 votes. 2004 count plus 15% for electoral increase.
GRN: With the population increase he may hold Susan's total 1250.
LIB: 3700. 2004 count plus 15% for electoral increase.
PC: 3700. He should be able to at least pace the Liberal candidate.
Total elector count is 26871. Let's say that we get 50% turnout, that would be up slightly from previous election. Not unreasonable since Elections Alberta has a very active campaign on to "get out the vote" and in my opinion people are getting motivated.
50% works out to 13435 votes.
Total votes to other candidates as per above: 9550
That leaves 3885 votes going to the WAP. :)
185 votes ahead of both the Liberal and PC candidates.
Perhaps I am way off base or dreaming in technicolor; but I did predict that Ed Stelmach would come up the middle and win the PC leadership race.
If nothing else this was a fun exercise.