Liberal fundraising success points to viability in Calgary

The Strategists say the Liberals have a shot at capturing a seat in Calgary in this election, pointing to how much money local candidates are raising as an indicator of the party's chances here in Calgary.

The Strategists give their opinion on ridings to watch in Canada's upcoming federal election

Many political experts expect close races in the ridings of Calgary Confederation, Calgary Centre and Calgary Skyview. (CBC)

They haven't won a seat in the city since 1968, but longtime political watchers say the Liberals have a shot at capturing a seat in Calgary in this election. 

How much money local candidates are raising could be one indicator, according to The Strategists on CBC Calgary's newscast.

See the entire CBC News Calgary at 6 segment here: ​
CBC Calgary anchor Rob Brown talks with The Strategists about their election predictions. 7:21

Veteran Alberta campaign strategist Corey Hogan says Calgary Confederation candidate Matt Grant is one of the top fundraisers in the country.  

"He's running quite the campaign and I think if he wins it will be entirely because of organization," says the director of engagement at Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

Grant is facing off against former PC MLA Len Webber, who left the party under premier Alison Redford, NDP candidate Kirk Heuser and Natalie Odd from the Green Party.

Hogan adds the Liberals' recent increase in national polls makes the party more viable here in the heartland of the Conservative Party.

He says voters like to back winners.

Up to 3 seats?

Another longtime political strategist is also betting on the Liberals winning a seat in Calgary in this federal election.

Stephen Carter, who was former premier Alison Redford's chief of staff, thinks at least two other Liberals — both former MLAs — have good chances in this campaign besides Grant in Calgary-Confederation.

  • Kent Hehr in Calgary Centre who is facing off against Conservative incumbent Joan Crockatt, NDP Jillian Ratti and the Green Party's Thana Boonlert.
  • Darshan Kang in Calgary Skyview is taking on Conservative Devinder Shory, Sahajvir Singh for the NDP and Edward Reddy of the Green Party. 

"The three candidates who really are in a race, they are raising money, they've got volunteer teams and they look like they might be able to win it," he said.

Carter adds Liberal candidates could also benefit from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's recent more muted rhetoric about Alberta's energy industry.

Trudeau has also visited Calgary a couple of times in recent months.

It seems at least one person in Airdrie remembers the fallout of the National Energy Program (NEP) here in Alberta, as this 2015 election sign shows. (Stephen Anderson)

The party has had few MPs elected in Alberta, where the memory of Pierre Trudeau's National Energy Program (NEP) still stings.

The last Alberta Liberal MP, Anne McLellan, lost her seat in 2006.

CBC's Stacee Barton went out to the streets of Calgary to see what some local voters are thinking as we head into the second half of one of the longest campaigns in Canadian history.

One of the major sentiments was those looking to cast a ballot have yet to make up their minds.

CBC's Stacee Barton asked Calgarians if they were ready to vote. Here's what they had to say. 1:24


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