Experts watching 3 Calgary ridings on eve of 2021 election day


All but one of the province’s 34 ridings were painted blue in 2019, but when Albertans vote Monday, many believe this time around could be different. 

A number of political experts identified three Calgary ridings as seats that could flip to the Liberal Party when all is said and done. 

Political scientist Duane Bratt says they’re part of a group in the province that have the potential to surprise. 

“If I was a Conservative in the six battleground ridings in Alberta, I’d be very worried,” he said. 

Bratt says even if the seats don’t go red — he predicts ultimately, only one will — the vote will likely be a lot closer than it was in 2019. 

“But if a Liberal is going to win in Calgary,” Bratt said, “It’ll be in Calgary-Skyview.

Ward 5 councillor George Chahal will be facing off against Conservative incumbent Jag Sahota in the northeast riding. 

Sahota turned down a CTV News interview request. 

“We’ve had a great response at the doors and from community members, and we are working hard right until the end of Election Day,” Chahal said. “People want representation. They want a voice in Ottawa from Calgary.”

On the last full day of campaigning, Chahal continued to preach the importance of a voice in the government: something many candidates in the city have been stressing over the last month. 

If Erin O’Toole becomes Prime Minister, Alberta Conservatives will likely be a loud voice in the country’s capital. 

But if Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau can win a third straight term, many in the party say being shut out in Alberta once again isn’t an option. 

“Canada needs more Calgary at the table,” Calgary-Centre Liberal candidate Sabrina Grover said. “And this is an opportunity for us to show that there is political diversity in this province.”

Grover made headlines earlier this month after campaign volunteers were allegedly accosted while handing out literature. 

Monday, she’ll be tasked with knocking down incumbent Greg McLean. 

He won the seat from Liberal Kent Hehr in 2019. 

McLean did not respond to multiple requests for comment. 

While 33 Conservatives currently hold seats in the province, many are waiting to see if votes for the People’s Party of Canada take a chunk out of right-wing support. 

Calgary-Confederation is expected to be another tight race. Incumbent Len Webber has held the seat since it was first contested in 2015. 

He too turned down a chance to be interviewed for this story.  

The People’s Party candidate in the riding says he’d be happy to influence a close race. 

“That’s great,” Edward Gao said. “I mean, if we look at the policies of the Conservatives, they’ve been moving left over the years. I think that’s a direct result of Alberta’s results being taken for granted.”

But as Gao preached financial accountability and a return to balanced books, Bratt remained unconvinced his party will surprise in the prairies. 

“I think the People’s Party could play a spoiler role in some Ontario ridings, (but) I would be surprised if they play a role here (in Calgary).”

Bratt did acknowledge Monday’s election will be unlike anything Canadians have seen before. 

Outside of some Alberta battlegrounds, the vote-casting itself will be a key player in the proceedings. 

The fourth wave is expected to have a large impact on turnout, which many pundits believe could be even lower than in 2019. 

“What does polling even look like (Monday)?” Bratt said. “Are there going to be people that don’t vote because they’re fearful?”

Calgary’s voting stations are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

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