The Conservatives are looking for a majority obviously, but they are also looking to sweep Alberta, like in 2006. We talk a lot about the currently only non-CPC riding: Edmonton-Strathcona, hold by the NDP. This party won this riding by a slim 463 votes in 2008. How did this happen?
Well, beyond the fact that obviously, the electoral machine of the NDP worked a little bit harder than the Conservatives one, we can also look at the provincial swings. Between 2004 to 2008, the NDP increased from 9.5%, to 11.7% and finally a "high" of 12.7% in 2008. During the same period, the CPC moved from 61.7% to 65% to slighty decrease to 64.7% in 2008. As for the Liberals, they went from a decent 22% in 2004, to a low of 15% in 06 and a really low 11.4% in 2004. So all in all, it seems the small swing of the NDP and the Tories were enough to give this riding to the party of Jack Layton. This is actually a good example of how the model can work: it can identifies where the provincial swing will be amplified or decreased.
So what about the current situation? Well, believe it or not, but the recent polls show a drop of the Tories, to a new "low" of 57.5%. Don't laugh, I know any party would do anything to stand that high in a province, but the fact remains: the current provincial swing is negative for the Tories. On the other hand, the NDP is stable at 12.7% and the Liberals seem to have found a new life, currently standing at 18.9%. We also have some polls that place the Green 2nd or 3rd in this province, but I won't talk about that right now.
So with those swings, the NDP would naturally keep its riding. It would be a close race again of course. But I think we are wrong to focus only on this riding. We should also watch Edmonton-Centre. This one was actually Liberal until 2006. And with the current swing for this party and the slight drop of the Conservatives, we could well have another riding to watch in Alberta. The current projection place the CPC at 41.4% and the Liberals at 36.1%. So almost a close race!
Also, there could be another race in Edmonton-Sherwood-Park, where the former Conservative candidate is running again, as independent. He did that in 2008 already and almost beat the official CPC candidate. This effect was so strong that I had to include a riding-specific effect in my model to not bias my other coefficients! My guess is that the Tories will win this riding again though, with an even larger majority. The model currently assumes no independent candidate, soI'll have to adjust for that.
Ok, here you go, I did my best to find some interesting ridings in Alberta. It's a tough job, believe me! I welcome your feedback. If you want more details about the ridings in Edmonton, this text from Daveberta is quite good.