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Politics

Alberta students support Conservative candidates in mock election but province isn’t all blue

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, second left, speaks as Green Party leader Elizabeth May, left to right, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh look on during the Federal leaders debate in Gatineau, Que. Monday, October 7, 2019.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, second left, speaks as Green Party leader Elizabeth May, left to right, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh look on during the Federal leaders debate in Gatineau, Que. Monday, October 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ahead of Monday’s federal election, 207,898 students across Alberta researched the parties and learned about democracy before casting their vote in a mock election.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of students threw their support behind Andrew Scheer’s Conservative party, “electing” 30 Conservative MPs across the province.

But a few key ridings didn’t follow suit.

READ MORE: Canada election 2019: Results from the federal election

Edmonton

In Edmonton, there are three ridings to watch: Edmonton Mill Woods, Edmonton Strathcona and Edmonton Centre. In Mill Woods, Liberal candidate Amarjeet Sohi came into this election campaign attempting to defend his seat after his narrow win in 2015. The students supported him with almost 1,272 votes, or almost 32 per cent of the popular vote. Coming in second was NDP candidate Nigel Logal with 994 votes and Conservative candidate Tim Uppal was close behind with 986 votes.

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In Strathcona, the seat is up for grabs after two-term MP Linda Duncan announced she wouldn’t be running again. The student vote stayed with the NDP though, as new candidate Heather McPherson received 36.72 per cent of the vote. Conservative Sam Lilly received 29.6 per cent of the vote and Liberal Eleanor Olszewski received just under 15 per cent.

READ MORE: Candidates make final push for votes in Edmonton Strathcona riding

In Edmonton Centre, Liberal Randy Boissonnault was looking to hang on to his seat for a second term, but the student vote saw him take third place. Conservative James Cumming won in the riding with 31.76 per cent of the vote and NDP candidate Katherine Swampy received 29.96 per cent. Boissonnault saw support from 15.80 per cent of the students.

All other Edmonton ridings stayed blue.

Calgary

Calgary has two ridings to watch: Calgary Centre and Calgary Skyview.

Centre voted in Liberal MP Kent Hehr last election, but the students put their support behind Conservative candidate Greg McLean, giving him almost 40 per cent of the vote. NDP Jessica Buresi came in second with 17.70 per cent and incumbent Hehr received 16.14 per cent.

READ MORE: Elections Canada probes reports that robocalls told some voters to vote after Monday

The seat in Skyview was available after Darshan Kang was kicked out of the Liberal caucus for ethical breaches in 2018. He never filed to run in this year’s election. In this election, the students voted to elect NDP Gurinder Singh Gill with 37.19 per cent of the vote. Conservative Jag Sahota received 24.77 per cent of the vote and Liberal Nirmala Naidoo took 19.47 per cent of the vote.

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Elsewhere in that city, the riding of Calgary Forest Lawn also voted an NDP candidate in Joe Pimlott. All other Alberta ridings went to the Conservative Party.

While they didn’t receive enough votes to get any seats in Alberta, the Green Party received 22,469 votes and the People’s Party of Canada received 9,895 votes.

READ MORE: 8% of voters say they cast ballot for first time this election: Ipsos

Federal Election 2019: Ipsos poll reveals preferences in potential minority government outcome
Federal Election 2019: Ipsos poll reveals preferences in potential minority government outcome

Nationally, Justin Trudeau received enough votes to be awarded a second term as prime minister, though he would be the head of a minority government. Jagmeet Singh and the NDP would form the official opposition, while Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party came in third.

The Liberals would have 109 seats, the NDP received 98 seats, the Conservatives had 94 seats, the Green Party got 28 seats and the Bloc Québecois won nine seats.

READ MORE: Mock student vote ‘elects’ Liberal minority government, NDP opposition

All major party leaders — except Yves-François Blanchet of the Bloc Québecois — would win their seat.

In total, 1,167,110 students cast their vote. The program has students learn about the electoral process and research the parties’ platforms before casting their vote. Students cast their ballots for the official candidates in their riding.