By-election time.

In a surprise move, Dave Rodney has stepped aside to allow Jason Kenney to run for a seat in Calgary Lougheed.

The question now is, will Notley give a full campaign against Kenney in the by-election and risk a crushing defeat that will be viewed as a bellwether for the next general election or will she go by the old tradition of not running a candidate against a new party leader? Either way it puts Notley in a very difficult position.

Calgary Lougheed is solid conservative country and the NDP only ever came close due to a vote split in the last election. That will not be happening this time around and Lougheed is in Kenney’s stomping ground of South Calgary. No long parachute here.

This also puts the Alberta Party in a tough spot. They need to show that they are a force outside of Calgary Elbow. Can they win a seat in an area with a low concentration of hipsters?

David Khan, the new leader of the Alberta Liberals is in need of a seat as well. He really has little excuse not to contest this seat and will look weak if he doesn’t. Khan will look weak if he is soundly beaten in a by-election a year before a potential general election too.

This is going to be a fun race and I look forward to volunteering on the campaign however I can.

In Kenney’s first day as leader of the United Conservative Party he has managed to put the leaders of every other party in the province on the run. I expect a trend as we see a man preparing a government in waiting rather than maintaining an opposition.

One thought on “By-election time.

  1. The combined PC + Wildrose vote was 63.2% so will the UCP beat this or fall short of it. If they fall short of it that could be a sign returning to office won’t be as easy as some thought as they got 52% provincewide vs. the NDP’s 41% so they can be a bit lower and still win, but not too much. By the same time the NDP got 32% last time around and since Calgary is where the election will be decided, they will almost certainly have to do better. If they maintain that or drop that could suggest they are in a fair bit of trouble. Also interesting to see how well the Alberta Party and Liberals will do as they are trying to market themselves to disappointed NDP voters as well as Red Tories from the Alberta PCs who think the UCP is too right wing so this will be the sign of they are having any success or not. Off course I expect Kenney to easily win this riding as the south side of Calgary is the most conservative part of the city, but the margin of victory could say a lot about his chances elsewhere in the city. Usually win conservatives like Bill Smith for mayor or Dave Rodney in 2015 only narrowly win here they lose whereas when they win by big margins like Kenney did federally as well as Harper they generally win (yes Harper lost twice federally and won three times, but each time the Conservatives won the majority of votes and seats in Alberta, it was other provinces that cost them).

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