Alberta election: 6 ridings where the PCs are faltering in the polls
Greg Clark, leader of the Alberta Party, is among the challengers posing a threat for PC cabinet ministers
A new poll suggests the PC incumbents in six ridings around Alberta will have a tough battle on election day.
Abingdon Research took a look at the following ridings:
"These riding polls show that if the election were held today the PC's would lose in all six of these seats," said Hamish Marshall, chief research officer of Abingdon Research, in a release.
"They are losing to the Alberta Party in Calgary-Elbow, to the NDP in Edmonton and to the Wildrose in rural Alberta and suburban Calgary. Prominent PC cabinet ministers are on track to lose on election day."
Calgary-Elbow déjà vu
Gordon Dirks, who was appointed as Alberta's education minister last fall, is among those high-profile candidates hoping to keep his seat.
"There's a lot of unhappiness with the PCs," said Clark while knocking on doors in his riding, adding "I think we could surprise some people in the election."
"Clark is in the lead (30 per cent of decided voters) ahead of Dirks (25 per cent). The Wildrose is in third, just like in the byelection. Nineteen per cent of voters are undecided," said Abingdon Research.
Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University agrees the signs point to an upset in Calgary-Elbow, the seat held by the education minister.
"The stuff around the GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances), the stuff around the schools, the protest by the school board, you know just his portfolio, he is vulnerable," said Bratt.
While Clark is polling well in his riding, Abingdon Research says he still ranks behind PC leader Jim Prentice and NDP leader Rachel Notley when it comes to "the leader who cares most about people like them."
Calgary-Acadia race heating up
Jonathan Denis, the PC's government house leader, minister of justice and solicitor general, is polling behind Wildrose candidate Linda Carlson in Calgary-Acadia.
"Not only is the PC candidate in second place, but he is tied with the NDP — each with 26 per cent of decided voters," said Abingdon Research, adding a quarter of voters are undecided.
PC candidate Kyle Fawcett, who was in involved in the province's flood recover portfolio before becoming environment minister, is currently polling in third place behind the Wildrose and NDP in Calgary-Klein.
Wildrose candidate Jeremy Nixon is in first at 32 per cent while NDP candidate Craig Coolahan is in second with 27 per cent.
"I'm not surprised that we're doing well, " said Coolahan.
"It's a choice between cuts and making us pay for a deficit and Rachel (Notley)'s platform where corporations pay their fair share," he said.
Edmonton–Gold Bar: NDP victory possible
Abingdon Research says NDP candidate Marlin Schmidt is polling ahead of PC incumbent David Dorward, a junior cabinet minister before the election was called, in Edmonton-Gold Bar.
Stony Plain battle
The Wildrose's Kathy Rondeau and NDP's Erin Babcock seem to be locked in a fight in Stony Plain with Ken Lemke, the incumbent PC candidate in a distant third place, according to Abingdon Research.
"The Wildrose has the support of less than four in 10 (37 per cent) decided voters, while the NDP is the choice of a third (33 per cent)," said the company.
Chestermere-Rocky View fight
Bruce McAllister, the PC incumbent who crossed over from the Wildrose last December, could be in trouble if the polls are correct.
"The Wildrose turned PC MLA is running a distant second (26 per cent of decided voters) to Leela Aheer, the Wildrose candidate (49 per cent)," according to Abingdon Research. "Independent Jamie Lall has the support of 10 per cent of decided voters. While Aheer's lead is strong almost a fifth of voters (19 per cent) are still undecided."
The riding became a topic of discussion early on in the campaign after McAllister was appointed to the PC nomination, which ruffled some feathers with longtime party supporters.