Sunday, September 18, 2011

PC Leadership 1st Ballot Regional Breakdown

Welcome to my Blog!

Now that I'm all graduated and don't have to spent every waking minute writing up papers for profs, I'm going to start blogging about one of my passions...Alberta politics! I figure a good place to start is to weigh in on the PC leadership race and the results of the first ballot. While the biggest story here is definitely the huge drop in the number of PC voters, I would like to focus on the regional breakdown of the results.

To begin, I took the results released by the party and divided the polling stations into four categories: Calgary, Edmonton, Rural North, and Rural South. I then quite simply looked at how the members in each category voted. While the press and other commentators have talked about the regional divides apparent in the leadership race, I have yet to see a more detailed breakdown of the results (although some great colour-coded maps can be found here and here.) While I did not find anything new and surprising, the data is interesting nonetheless:

The most interesting thing about the Calgary breakdown is that Horner came in dead last, even behind Griffiths. It's hard to imagine Horner being leader of the PC party with only 2% support from the province's largest city.

While much has been made of Horner's lack of support in Edmonton (4th place with 11% of vote), I think the real story here is Mar's dominance. For someone from Calgary to recieve 56% of the vote on the first ballot in the province's capital is quite the feat. It is even more impressive when compared to the 36% he received in Calgary.

The Rural North is interesting in that it was the only region in which Horner received the most votes, by a significant margin at that. However, other than Horner, the North followed the provincial trend fairly closely with Mar (29%) and Redford (10%) receiving the next largest chunk of votes.

The Rural South is where Morton performed the strongest. Unfortuately for him, he was unable to replicate this success across the province in order to make it to the second ballot.

Overall, I don't think one could say that there are large regional divisions between the candidates with the greatest chances of becoming leader (ie. Mar and Redford). The most surprising result for me was how well Mar faired in Edmonton. I am excited to see what the outcome is in two weeks, especially to see whether the voter turnout will increase. As far as regional breakdowns go, I am particularily interested to see where the vote from Morton's 18% support in the Rural South will go as well as Orman's 19% support in Calgary; that is, if they even show up...

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