Will the federal election follow the provincial trend?

If the next federal election slated for Oct. 19 was held today, the Conservative candidates here in Red Deer, a somewhat bellwether riding, would win.

If the next federal election slated for Oct. 19 was held today, the Conservative candidates here in Red Deer, a somewhat bellwether riding, would win. This is according to the latest poll. Any surprises?

The surprise is in the percentages each party would garner. The polls for Red Deer ridings show that the Liberals have doubled their vote, (3.8 to 8.8 per cent) without one candidate. The Greens, again without any candidates, have seen a 20 per cent increase (five to six per cent). The NDP, no candidates but fresh off a provincial victory have seen a 33 per cent increase in support (15 to 20 per cent). The Conservatives with incumbent candidates have seen a 20 per cent decrease in support (76 to 61 per cent).

Remember in the last federal election, all of Red Deer was almost completely in one urban riding. But the current government gerrymandered the city to be but small parts of two large rural ridings. Historically, the Conservative numbers are usually higher in rural ridings, while progressives fair better in urban ridings. So if rural percentages are higher for Conservatives than urban and we now have a mix of urban and rural votes, then the Conservatives have actually seen a larger decrease and the opposition parties are seeing larger increases (if you take into consideration the rural influence on the past numbers, if they were combined).

Provincewide, if the vote was held today, only 45 per cent of Albertans would vote for a Conservative candidate, 55 per cent would vote for someone who is not a Conservative candidate. This indicates a drop in support of around 25 per cent.

These numbers should be more worrisome for the Conservatives than the numbers were five months ago for the provincial Progressive Conservatives, and the May 5 election was the result. The Progressive Conservatives of Alberta polled at 42 per cent, five months before the May 5 election and the NDP were in the teens. May 5 election results: Progressive Conservatives 28 per cent and the NDP 41 per cent.

If the Anyone But Conservative movement is still active and the concept of strategic voting is still relevant, then the Conservatives better worry. Instead of a choice between the Wildrose Party and the New Democrats as in the provincial race, it will be between the Liberals and the New Democrats in the next federal race.

There will be other parties and candidates, but the attention will be on the Liberals and New Democratic candidates and leaders.

During the provincial election, the televised debate was a pivotal moment. New Democratic Leader Rachel Notley shone while Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Prentice, not so much.

That is not going to happen in the federal election, because the Conservatives are refusing to participate in the usual national debate, organized by the media consortium. Instead going for niche debates where they can target their market with differing views. Conservatives will adjust their message for the target audience, which does not play well in a national debate.

There will be more emphasis on polls, news reports and local candidates.

I urge the parties not to have paper, straw, or parachute candidates. Urgency is at play and the sooner the candidates are nominated, the better.

The barbecue circuit season is fast approaching and it would be nice to know sooner rather than later who the candidates are. The governing party will be spending $75 million of our money on poorly disguised partisan ads, they will be doling out funds and making announcements, and unwittingly fueling the Anyone But Conservative movement.

So the time is now for the parties to be as prepared on the ground, in the riding, as the Conservatives are. The Conservatives are ready, but the candidates’ hands are tied and voices muted by the Prime Minister’s Office, so it is a good time for the opposing candidates to impress the local voters.

On May 5, politics in Alberta changed, the political bear awoke from 44-year hibernation and devoured the Progressive Conservative dynasty, and left the big blue machine rattled.

Will it continue? Will the bear of voters’ discontent, devour the slate of Conservatives in Alberta?

The polls say, possibly. Will the trend continue or was it a one-time event?

We will know on Oct. 19, when the results are shown. Interesting times wait.

Garfield Marks

Red Dee

Just Posted

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is set to re-open on July 2. (File Photo)
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to reopen Monday

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will reopen for visitors… Continue reading

The Red Deer U18AAA Braves hit the field this weekend for their first games of the Norwest League season. (Advocate File photo)
Red Deer’s U18AAA Braves ready to open season this weekend

It’s been more than a year since many Red Deer Minor Baseball… Continue reading

Traffic signal upgrades are planned for May 30 at the intersection of 67th Street and 52nd Avenue. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Traffic light repairs set for 49 Ave. and 51 St. over weekend

Drivers in Red Deer can expect delays at the intersection of 49… Continue reading

Until recently MicKaylehea Kien, of Red Deer, said she has been able to use her electric scooter at the local Tim Horton’s drive-thru. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Red Deer woman on mobility scooter denied service at drive-thru

Ordering inside a safer alternative, says Tim Hortons

Huzaifa (left), Saif (middle) and Zoya (right) were among the 60 or so Red Deerians who participated in a vigil for the victims of a recent terrorist attack that killed four people in London Ont. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Red Deer vigil honours victims of London, Ont. terrorist attack

About 60 people gathered at the corner of 49 Ave. and 50… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo. HO — Deschatelets-NDC Archives
Calls grow for Ottawa to review settlement decisions for residential school survivors

Lawyer Teri Lynn Bougie still cries when she talks about the final… Continue reading

Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations and in at least three cases, for the doses to be resold.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada’s vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for… Continue reading

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, responds to the report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Vancouver, on Monday June 3, 2019. As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

VANCOUVER — As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after… Continue reading

A woman sits and weeps at the scene of Sunday's hate-motivated vehicle attack in London, Ont. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Four members of a family in London, Ont., are set to be buried today. The public has been invited to help celebrate the lives of Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
Funeral to be held today for London family killed in attack

LONDON, Ont. — Four members of a Muslim family killed in what… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden listen to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver opening remarks at a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, United Kingdom Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to discuss foreign policy with G7 leaders at second day of summit meeting

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND — Foreign policy is on the agenda for… Continue reading

Multivitamins are shown on the packaging line at the Pfizer plant in Montreal, Thursday, July 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canadian drug companies want new pricing regs delayed again until after pandemic

OTTAWA — Almost three dozen Canadian pharmaceutical companies made a direct appeal… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — The massive $70 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot remained unclaimed… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Embrace the omni-present wonderfulness of corn

OK, this week I’m going to get a little corny. So what,… Continue reading

Most Read