3 Edmonton ridings to watch on election night

Alberta appears likely to turn its usual Conservative blue on election night, but some races in Edmonton might be close calls for Tory incumbents.

In 2019, New Democrat Heather MacPherson was the only non-Conservative to win a capital region seat after two Liberal incumbents went down to defeat.

This year, it's Conservative MPs who are facing potentially tight local races.

Here are three Edmonton ridings to watch on election night.

EDMONTON CENTRE

Candidates:

  • Randy BOISSONNAULT - Liberal
  • Brock CROCKER - PPC
  • James CUMMING - Conservative (incumbent)
  • Merryn EDWARDS - Marxist - Leninist
  • Valerie KEEFE - Libertarian
  • Heather MACKENZIE - NDP

This will be the third straight meeting between Randy Boissonnault and James Cumming.

Cumming was defeated by fewer than 1,200 votes in 2015 before gathering 41 per cent of the vote to unseat Boissonault in 2019.

Prior to that it had been a Conservative seat for the past three elections.

Former public school board trustee and Ward 6 council candidate Heather MacKenzie represents the NDP.

The riding has produced close margins of victory twice in the past six contents: Boissonault’s win in 2015 and a 721 vote win by Liberal Anne McLellan.

EDMONTON GRIESBACH

Candidates:

  • Alex BOYKOWICH - Communist
  • Blake DESJARLAIS - NDP
  • Kerry DIOTTE - Conservative (incumbent)
  • Mary JOYCE - Marxist-Leninist
  • Heather LAU - Green
  • Thomas MATTY - PPC
  • Habiba MOHAMUD - Liberal
  • Morgan WATSON - Libertarian

Edmonton Griesbach was first contested in 2015 when Conservative Kerry Diotte scored a 3,000 vote victory over current New Democrat MLA Janis Irwin.

The former newspaper columnist and Edmonton city councillor is now seeking his third term in the north Edmonton riding.

His strongest challenger appears to be New Democrat Blake Desjarlais who was supported with an in-person visit from party leader Jagmeet Singh earlier this summer.

To win, he’ll have to reverse a trend that saw the number of NDP votes fall by more than 25 per cent in 2019 compared to 2015.

The Liberals appear to have a consistent level of support here which may further hinder any chance of an upset.

EDMONTON MILL WOODS

Candidates:

  • Ben HENDERSON - Liberal
  • Nigel LOGAN - NDP
  • Paul MCCORMACK - PPC
  • Naomi RANKIN - Communist
  • Tim UPPAL - Conservative (incumbent)

Edmonton Mill Woods was one of the closest races in the country when it was first contested in 2015 as Liberal Amarjeet Sohi squeaked out a 92 vote victory over Conservative Tim Uppal.

Four year later, Uppal regained the seat with an 8,800-vote margin of victory.

This year, the Liberals are banking on outgoing Edmonton city councillor Ben Henderson to muster more support.

Henderson has served on city council since 2007 but has represented an area outside of the Edmonton Mill Woods riding as Ward 8 councillor.

NDP candidates have received about 12 per cent of votes cast in both of the last two elections.