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Sunday, March 02, 2008

alberta election 2008: lethbridge and the rural wildcards.

With the election polls opening in less than 8 hours, here's a look at some of the races outside of Calgary and Edmonton that I will be keeping an eye on after the polls close tomorrow night.


Both Lethbridge-East and Lethbridge-West could be close tomorrow night. I'm giving Alberta Liberal MLA Bridget Pastoor the edge over Tory Jason Herasemluk in Lethbridge-East (Lethbridge-East has been held by the Liberals since 1993), but Lethbridge-West is a more open race with Tory MLA Clint Dunford's retirement. Bal Boora and Greg Weadick have been duking it out in Lethbridge-West and it could go either way. Look for the Wildrose Alliance to potentially play the role of spoiler in these races.

Rural Wild Cards

I expect most of rural Alberta to stay coloured in various shades of blue tomorrow night, but that doesn't mean there aren't interesting races outside Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge!

As I've mentioned before, I'm really looking forward to see how Alberta Green candidate Joe Anglin does in Lacombe-Ponoka against Tory Ray Prins. Anglin is a strong candidate and has excellent local name recognition. It would be great to see a Green be elected to the Alberta Legislature, and after Bill 46 and the AEUB spy scandal, Anglin would be a much stronger advocate for the region than backbencher Prins.

It would be nice to see Wildrose Alliance Leader Paul Hinman get re-elected in Cardston-Taber-Warner, but it could be close as Hinman is facing off against former Tory MLA Broyce Jacobs. Peace River and Dunvegan-Central Peace are on my radar for potential pickups for the Wildrose Alliance. If they are going to pick up seats, I think it's likely that it will be in the northwest corner of Alberta rather than the south. A backlash against the proposed nuclear power plant in the Peace Country manifest itself into a win or a strong showing for the Wildrose Alliance in these two northwestern constituencies against what could be described as two weak cabinet ministers (Frank Oberle and Hector Goudreau).

Other potentially interesting races I'm going to be keeping an eye on include Red Deer-South, Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo, Medicine Hat, West Yellowhead, and Whitecourt-St. Anne.

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