Monday, April 23, 2012

Alberta Votes Live Blog

6 pm (mountain time!): The much anticipated downtown Toronto Alberta election night party is ready to roll: the Alberta flag has been proudly hung, the Big Rock beers have been opened, and I'm sportin' a Supportin' Morton button. Polls are still open for another two hours, but the room is already full with a dozen ex-Albertans - and two Ontarians curious to see who will be signing their next equalization cheque.

7:20 pm: Playing "Ted Morton is the man" and "sing a song for Jim" to get everyone pumped up. One guest - "ahhh, so that's how Ed Stelmach became Premier".

8:10 pm: In most Alberta elections, we'd be calling it right about now.

8:14 pm: Watching the Global TV live stream online - they have a CNN-style touch screen! Sadly, due to James Moore's budget cuts, CBC will be announcing results via abacus tonight.

8:42 pm: Current numbers have the PCs leading in 45, Wildrose leading in 22, NDP in 2, Liberals in 1. maybe this is the Dennis Coderre bounce.

8:50 pm:  PCs now lead 55-21. And that's the sound of pundits everywhere frantically re-writing their articles before deadline.

9:01 pm:And they call it for the PCs. Absolutely shocking. Tom Flanagan blows it in the bottom of the 9th again. Conversation at our Toronto election party:

"I thought this was supposed to be a close election"
"By Alberta standards, this IS a close election"

9:40 pm: Guess we need to give Alberta Liberals an assist on this one. The ALP vote is down 15-20 points from their usual levels, far and away the margin of victory.

10:37 pm: And the traditional chant goes up at PC headquarters: "40 more years! 40 more years!". That's it for tonight all - tomorrow, I'll try to make some sense of one of the most shocking election nights in a long time.

17 Comments:

  • Have you considered stamping your posts in Pacific Time just to mess with us? :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:53 PM  

  • Is it time to drown our sorrows yet?

    By Blogger Martin, at 9:55 PM  

  • I hope you're watching Sun News, in honour of the occasion - the commentators are in rare form already.

    By Anonymous Jason Hickman, at 10:01 PM  

  • Good idea Jason, just switched to check it out! Is it normal for a "news team" to setup their main commentators in a political party's HQ? Seams odd.

    By Blogger Martin, at 10:07 PM  

  • First 6 polls are in. PC 104, WRP 74, Lib 9, NDP 4, other 1.
    Here

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:18 PM  

  • 8:47, Libs lead in 2: Edmonton Centre, Calgary-Buffalo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:48 PM  

  • 10% of polls in across the province, WRP leading in 3 Calgary ridings and none in Edmonton. No reason to believe these will all swing.

    I think we can call it. The pundits were wrong. I was wrong. PC majority.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:52 PM  

  • How did the polls manage to get the PC-WR margin wrong by 17 points?

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 10:57 PM  

  • The NDP are still holding on to the lead in Lethbridge-West. That might not last too long but it definitely speaks to the area becoming a target for a second Alberta NDP seat in the next federal election. Especially if the additional seats mean that the Lethbridge riding loses Cardston and Warner counties, probably two of the most rightwing municipalities in the entire country.

    By Anonymous Robin, at 10:59 PM  

  • Wow. Pollsters sure are useless. :)

    By Anonymous Laura, at 11:04 PM  

  • Power lines for everybody!!! Lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 PM  

  • If there is one thing these results show, it is the utter stupidity of strategic voting, given the uncertainty of election outcomes. If the Liberal vote had held, you'd have a minority parliament situation today, with either the Wild Rose or Liberals reliant on a hearty contingent of Liberals.

    Instead, strategic voters managed to re-elect Canada's most right-wing provincial government.

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 8:08 AM  

  • Have to agree with Laura, pollsters are useless.

    By Anonymous Matt, at 9:03 AM  

  • As you say, some numbers will need to be crunched first, but I'm not sure the Liberal vote was all lost to strategic voting. Some of it had to be lost to traditional Liberal supporters reluctant to vote for your Tory leader, no matter how excited he was about health care. Either way, the reduced Liberal vote showed up in the polls, but the Tory spike didn't, so they appear to be separate events.

    By Blogger Don, at 9:30 AM  

  • I am not sure that all the talk of this being due to strategic voting is justified. First of all, the Liberal party has had its share of turmoil over the last couple of years, including David Swann stepping down as leader, some high profile defections etc. So it is not clear the liberal vote would necessarily have come close to holding up even in a "normal" election without a resurgent WRP.

    Second, it is alleged that a lot of Liberal or liberal leaning Albertans took out PC membership in order to vote for Redford as leader. Some of these may have remained optimistic about her credentials to move the PC party more to the centre of the political spectrum. I am skeptical myself (but then I vote NDP), but I do think she deserves a chance to prove she is different.

    Third, the late swing towards the the PCs can't ALL be due to strategic voting, because the WRP vote went down considerably (4-8 points depending on which polls you believed) between polling numbers and actual voting patterns.

    Clearly the pollsters got this one wrong, or a lot of people, justifiably, got cold feet about the WRP at the last minute.

    By Anonymous Michael, at 10:55 AM  

  • There are probably a number of reasons for the Liberal decline beyond strategic voting, but this election will definitely go down as yet another missed opportunity for the left in Alberta. Had the Liberals held their traditional 25-30% of the vote, they'd be power players - and perhaps on their way to killing off the PCs.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:55 PM  

  • PC party-redford are liars. They lied by stating that Wildrose majority is a possibility and to vote PC. Liberal voters believed that lie and voted PC. No one will believe that lie in 4 years. Next election, the liberals will vote Liberal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:52 PM  

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