Alberta high school student vote reflected result of provincial race

It was an election that didn’t count but maybe the pollsters should have been talking to high school students.

It was an election that didn’t count but maybe the pollsters should have been talking to high school students.

In a parallel student provincial election, Alberta elementary and high school students got the overall outcome of Monday’s provincial election right.

They elected a Progressive Conservative majority government with the Wildrose as the official opposition. This despite actual election polls that showed the Wildrose would win a majority government.

Student vote results have predicted the governing party in 15 out of 18 elections, including last year’s federal election.

As of 1 p.m. on Monday, 86,855 votes were cast from 695 schools, representing 86 out of 87 electoral divisions across the province.

The Central Alberta student election results weren’t as accurate, however. Five Wildrose candidates were elected in the rural area and two Progressive Conservative incumbents re-elected.

In Central Alberta, five of the seven Tory incumbents retained their seats in the mock vote.

In Red Deer North, Mary Anne Jablonski held onto her seat with 529 votes and Red Deer South incumbent Cal Dallas received 1,255 votes. That did happen.

In Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, Luke Ouellette received 393 votes to keep his seat in the student vote. In the Drumheller/Stettler riding, Jack Hayden received 1,452 votes and in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, Ty Lund received 533 votes. All three actually lost their seats in the real election.

In Lacombe-Ponoka, Wildrose candidate Rod Fox was elected with 3,380 votes. And Wildrose’s Bruce Rowe won with 1,169 votes in the Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills riding. Students got these right.

Overall, the Tories won 53 seats in the mock vote, capturing 34 per cent of the popular vote.

The Wildrose took 22 seats and snagged 29 per cent of the popular vote among students. The Liberals won six seats and 18 per cent of the popular vote. The New Democratic Party took five seats and 14 per cent of the popular vote.

The actual results saw 61 PC seats; 17 Wildrose; Liberals five; and NDP four.

Three of the four party leaders won their seats in their ridings in the student vote. Tory Leader Alison Redford won her seat in Calgary-Elbow with 54 per cent of the vote while Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith lost her seat in Highwood (she actually won it). Liberal Leader Raj Sherman won his Edmonton-Meadowlark with 45 per cent of the vote. NDP leader Brian Mason won his seat in the Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood with 45 per cent of the vote.

More than 25 schools participated in the Senate nominee election.

The three candidates with the most votes were: Tory Doug Black; Wildrose Party’s Raymond Germain and independent candidate Paul Frank. The candidates who actually won were Doug Black, Scott Tannas and Mike Shaikh, all Conservatives.

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