Wednesday, March 5, 2008

comments re numbers below

Wildrose Alliance 2008 was very much a Calgary and "far away from Stelmach's home base" phenomenon.

Generally speaking, the party actually picked up bigger vote shares in urban Calgary than in the rural north, excepting the Peace Country, and even there, the 30% share in Central Peace was down from 40% in 2004. Whitecourt - St Anne is north-east and held it's own, but Link Byfield was a recognized name.

Edmonton area rural ridings (i.e. Leduc/Devon, Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, Athabasca/Redwater, Stony Plain and West Yellowhead) all posted lower vote shares than the vast majority of Calgary area urban ridings. All of those Edmonton rural ridings also posted lower vote shares relative to themselves in 2004, while many Calgary ridings picked up half again as much vote share as in 2004.

Urban areas outside Calgary, i.e. Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, and Edmonton, all saw notable drops. In Red Deer north and south combined, the Wildrose Alliance received just half of the votes the Alberta Alliance did in 2004. The drops in south Edmonton were even greater.

In the circumstances, perhaps my individual efforts actually held the line somewhat. The Alberta Alliance candidate who ran in my riding in 2004 moved one riding closer to the northeast edge, which should have been more promising given that the AA did better there in 04, but ended up with a lower vote share than I did in 2008.

The problem with trying to analyze the Edmonton results, however, is that they are so low (generally 3% or less) that movements are not really significantly significant. There is generally going to be a floor around 2% that even a fringe or paper candidate would get. When you look at the fact that Edmonton area rural areas slumped too, it's apparent that the the whole region was simply too close to where the premier is from for the votes to not go to the premier's party.

On the upside, congratulations should go to Chris Jukes of Calgary North West for most effective campaign. Party HQ was asking the rest of us candidates to take note of his tactics and they must obviously be effective since he tripled the Alberta Alliance result in his riding in 2004. Without perhaps considering everyone I should, I'll recognize Bob Babcock for most professionally conducted campaign. I had the privilege of meeting Bob in Calgary in early February and I'm pleased to see his good results match the impressive good first impression he makes.


Mark said...

IMHO, you guys fell victim to the tendency of middle-class Canadians to split the difference between philisophical and political extremes on the ideological spectrum. Most people see themselves as reasonable, accommodating types and vote accordingly...

Mark said...

That should be "philosophical."