Tonight, four Alberta by-elections are happening. Without getting into much of the details of each candidate, I'm going to predict who wins and why.
Calgary-ElbowKnowing that they might lose the riding, the PCs strategy was to appoint an unelected cabinet minister and then make him run. That candidate is former Saskatchewan urban affairs minister, Gordon Dirks.
Also running is Alberta Party leader Greg Clark. He's certain to pull progressive and liberal protest votes, but it won't be enough to take it with the party not having much of any history there.
Hatrock Prediction -- Wildrose candidate Rt.-Col. John Fletcher takes this one from the PCs. Why? It's Alison Redford's former riding and is the best place to plop your anti-PC protest vote.
Calgary-FoothillsNewly minted premier Jim Prentice has made several cookie cutter decisions since taking power after the low-voter turnout PC leadership race with only 17,000 votes to try and show he's different than the past. Despite the tradition of opposition parties allowing party leaders to run unopposed, that's not happening this time.
Hatrock Prediction -- As much as it would be interesting to see Prentice lose and the Wildrose have been campaigning hard, but so have the PCs, and riding residents tend to vote for said premiers, save former premier Don Getty in the late 80's.
Calgary-WestWith no incumbent, this one is really up for grabs. Good candidates from all parties, but it's the Wildrose with the best chance to take it based on past election history.
Hatrock Prediction -- With anti-PC protest votes split among progressives and conservatives, allowing the Wildrose to shoot up the middle, Wildrose candidate Sheila Taylor, a public school trustee, edges out PC Mike Ellis, a Calgary policeman,
Edmonton WhitemudFormer, popular three-term Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel, and recent health minister appointment has seen the Wildrose release attacks against him regarding supposed mayoral campaign donations being donated to the PCs and $67k of mayoral city budget paying for Oilers tickets. The PCs have seemingly been able to diffuse with Mandel saying he'd pay everything back if allegations are true. The big announcement that the gov't plans to open a whole pile of new hospitals, while encouraging, Albertans have also heard of these promises before from the PCs.
Hatrock Prediction -- Edmontonians trust Mandel for the most-part and certainly don't mind seeing him involved provincially and at the cabinet table on Edmonton's behalf. Nothing sticks and so Mandel easily wins this one.
PCs take two - Prentice and Mandel get in.
Wildrose take two - Fletcher and Taylor win.