Saturday August 08, 2015

Battleground Watch - Alberta

The Conservatives will likely maintain the strongest presence in Alberta this election, but polls analyst Eric Grenier said there are some ridings, especially in Calgary and Edmonton, that are ripe for the picking.

The Conservatives will likely maintain the strongest presence in Alberta this election, but polls analyst Eric Grenier said there are some ridings, especially in Calgary and Edmonton, that are ripe for the picking. (Canadian Press)

Listen 2:36

From Justin Trudeau making Calgary the second stop of his campaign to Stephen Harper using the word "disaster" to characterize the election of a provincial NDP government, Alberta is clearly in campaigners' crosshairs. 

But could Alberta really become a battleground? The province is currently entirely Conservative blue, save for one NDP seat, after all.

"The Conservatives are still probably going to win a majority of the seats in Alberta," says the CBC's polls analyst Éric Grenier

But there are as many as 10 seats up for grabs by other parties, he adds, and that's an important shift for a province that has historically been a Conservative bastion, both provincially and federally.

"Just the fact that we're talking about it is a big change," Grenier says.

In Calgary, the Liberals have some chances in a couple of ridings, thanks to "a few well-known MLAs who did not run in the last election, so they at least avoided that," he says. 

And the NDP is in a "very strong position" in Edmonton, Grenier adds.

So how much can the shifting landscape in Alberta's federal politics be attributed to Premier Rachel Notley and the orange wave that swept through in April?

"It's impossible to deny that the NDP really had their surge after the (provincial) victory in Alberta," Grenier says. "But on the provincial scene, the vote is split on the right whereas at the federal level it's split on the left.

"So it's not the same electoral math as it would be at the provincial level, which does open up an opportunity for the Conservatives."

Haven't got enough numbers? Éric Grenier joins The House over the summer for a deep dive into the polls and the data surrounding various battleground ridings across Canada.

Follow parties' gains and losses here with the CBC's Poll Tracker.

Previously:

This week's episode of the CBC Pollcast features guest Christian Bourque, executive vice-president of Leger, the largest Canadian-owned polling, research and strategic marketing firm. Bourque joins host Éric Grenier to discuss how a marathon campaign affects pollsters. You can listen below or download the podcast here.