Election Prediction Project
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Federal Election - 2004 - élection générale

Update/Mise à jour:
10:43 PM 6/22/2004

Prediction Changed
La prévision a changé
12:38 PM 6/9/2004

Constituency Profile
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Robert Cree
Liberal Party/Parti libéral:
Doug Faulkner
Green Party/Parti Vert:
Ian Hopfe
Brian Jean

Population 2001
Number of electors 2000
Nombre d'électeurs

Incumbents/Les députés:
Athabasca (92.0%)
David Chatters
Elk Island (0.0%)
Ken Epp
Lakeland (7.9%)
Leon Benoit

2000 Result/Résultats:
16,432 52.80%
9,240 29.69%
3,881 12.47%
844 2.71%
725 2.33%

(151/183 polls, 52246/61330 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

Elk Island
(2/222 polls, 23/78682 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

(23/244 polls, 4493/70041 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

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20/06/04 Troy Peterson
Email: [hidden]
People seem to forget that Mr. Falkner (and all the candidates) is an unknown outside of Fort Mac. So lets be kind and say he splits the vote in Fort Mac, the rest of the riding is rural alberta....No way a Liberal takes the majority of the votes there... Conservative all the way. Maybe Mr. Falkner could've ran for teh conservatives if he hadn't been caught with memberships in two parties.
13/06/04 Researcher
Email: [hidden]
I lived in this riding for almost 20 yrs. and I think its premature to called it COnservative. I think it should be a TC (too close). Because of the Easterners in Ft. McMurray, who unlike most Albertan do not fear voting Liberal, it may still go to Faulkner - the popular Mayor of Ft. McMurray. This is compounded by the fact that the CPC are not running a incumbant or a star candidate. This isnt your typically as Chris Delanoy put it "slam-dunk" for the Alliance (now CPC) but a very close battle that I believe will come down to who can get out the vote.
11/06/04 Dan Lamden
Email: Danlamden@hotmail.com
I'm so tired of this combined vote crap people keep posting on here. Polling and research from the last two elections have shown that the second choice of most Liberal voters was the old PC, and for all the other party's the second choice of most voters was the Liberals. Not sure if you could say the same thing this time hehehe, but regardless cut this "united" and combined vote delusion out. Besides myself I know quite a few others who would have voted PC but wont vote Conservative so theres at least a few out there besides HARD RESEARCH data. Oh and as for Athabasca? Dont expect any liberal pickups in this election in Alberta.
10/06/04 Tom
Email: [hidden]
Doug Faulkner has a great opportunity to win this riding. He has more grass routes support than Brian Jean, including the Newfoundland community, who traditionally vote as a block. Faulkner started early and has kept up the momentum. With redistribution and red votes coming from the Lac La Biche area, Faulkner has a much better chance than some think. The word in Fort McMurray is that traditional Conservatives will hold their nose and vote Liberal, rather than see Jean go to Ottawa. Mr. Jean has burnt many bridges in town, including the strong women's vote. This will not be an upset! Jean's baggage will be his downfall!
09/06/04 Tony
Email: [hidden]
I remember when a rural Alberta riding was going to the Alliance no question. Where is that guy this election? Anyways, it will be a tighter race this time, and yes a rural riding may very well go to the Liberals since they have redrawn the map. I lived in Ft. McMurray for 19yrs. and I think that since there is a large population from the East there and that the mayor is now running against a political rookie he most defintely stands a chance. This and Edmonton Stratcona are the only two interesting ridings in Alberta - so there arent going to even bother having votes in Alberta's so called democracy - Alliance/Reform/Conservative and provincial PC by acclamation would save us all alot of time and money. *sigh*
05/06/04 Alex
Email: [hidden]
Combined vote = 65%
Liberal vote = 30%
Even if we take the suggestion that all the PCs will go Liberal at face value(and we shouldn't), then it still splits 53-42. Conservatives, end of story.
05/06/04 Community Supporter
Email: NA
I noticed that Mr. Jean's website states that he was Chairman of the 1985 Alberta Summer Games which were held here in Fort McMurray.
That is rather strange for I was a director at these Summer Games and have no recollection whatsoever of Mr. Jean, who at the time would have been 18.
Strange also that during my concentrated volunteer commitment in the community that there is no recollection of ever seeing Mr. Jean volunteering anywhere at anytime?
Yet, Mr. Faulkner the Liberal candidate for years and well prior to his political life has always been willing to lend a hand.
Some forum members have stated that Mr. Jean has many successful businesses. Good for him for that shows he is a "Me first" person. I ask, "What humanity awards has he won with his works in helping the people of the community?"
He writes he is a patron of certain organizations. I am a patron of maybe 25 organizations yet I would not have the audacity to make such an inane remark. It only shows how little he has accomplished in life and how shallow he is.
Simply said…Mr. Faulkner is the right man in the wrong party and Mr. Jean is the wrong man in the right party.
02/06/04 E.
Email: allethanallthetime@yahoo.ca
I lived in Fort McMurray for 17 years and well remember Doug Faulkner. The only reason he has won as many times as he has in Fort McMurray is because of disgustingly low voter turnout. I think in the last election less than 10,000 people showed up to vote. Moreover, there were a large number of candidates that - their totals combined - had a huge plurality. Faulkner is no star and he is also not the sharpest knife in the drawer. His down-home-charm borders on the line between naive and idiotic. I know that sounds harsh, however, it is the truth. I remember events in McMurray where he would show up and be booed the entire time he was speaking. In city of roughly 35,000 to 45,000 people, when you only win with 3,000 or 4,000 votes, you're not exactly the most popular politician around.
Faulkner ran as a PC candidate the last time and came in 3rd despite Clark coming up to campaign for him. Then Faulkner joins the Liberals and says he became a member because when someone is a member of the political party in power, they can get things done. Please.
Chalk this riding up for the Conservative candidate. Doug is not a star candidate by any streth and on June 28th, that will be quite evident.
28/05/04 Sandee
Email: [hidden]
I have only lived in the Fort McMurray area for a few months - but I'm confused about all of this rhetoric regarding Brian Jean. His family is respected? He is? That is not what I have heard. I understand that Brian's capabilities as a lawyer are respected, I will give him that. Opinions regarding his family and his personality are not positive. As for Doug Faulkner - his good heartedness and his drive to help whomever crosses his path isn't questioned. He seems to have a very strong desire to help the people he serves. I believe he would continue with that as an MP. He may be known as a bit of a fence sitter, but he looks to learn everything he can about a certain issue and then makes a decision. Furthermore I haven't heard Brian Jean say a word about any issue...Does he have an opinion or is he just letting the conservative banner speak for him? This riding could very well go Liberal - stranger things have happened.
25/05/04 Jermaine Defoe
Email: [hidden]
A small point, but in fact Liberals were elected in rural Alberta as recently as 1968 - Medicine Hat and Rocky Mountain both fell for Trudeaumania. And Athabasca consistently voted Liberal until the Diefenbaker sweep of 1958.
25/05/04 As listed
Email: [hidden]
If we're being objective, we have to recognise that the Alliance/PC merger isn't going to benefit the new CPC in Alberta ... any PC votes were from people who couldn't stand to vote Alliance, not from people who really supported the PCs ... in a place like Ontario, a lot of PC votes will turn over to the CPC, I expect almost none will in Alberta.
As for these "rumours", whether they're true or not, if they exist in the riding, their existence is a very important fact. Even without any proof, it will definitely influence a lot of people. That said, come election day, this will be an interesting riding to watch the results come in from after most easterns have gone to bed!
17/05/04 E. Andrew Washburn
Email: [hidden]
Really now. Too close to call? I know this is up in the north of Alberta and all, but come on! Rural Alberta has never elected a left wing party in the last 70 years, not one seat. Things aren't going to change now, especially after the Liberal sponsorship scandal. The NDP has a better chance than the Liberals do.
16/05/04 B.Barnes
Email: [hidden]
Once again, many of you need to re-visit the results of the 1997 election, to discover that 'Athabasca' may never have elected a Liberal, but the part of the old Athabasca that is now considered Athabasca would have. Germain carried every poll in Fort McMurray, and a couple outside of it in the Lac La Biche area. Putting to bed the sheer shock and dumbfoundness involved in the suggestion that liberals can carry the seat would probably be well-advised.
Add to this the changing demographic of the seat, and it further favours a liberal outcome: more people moving to the riding from other places, less connection with the Conservative party, people who don't identify with Alberta or its political issues, all of which set Fort McMurray aside from other parts of the province.
As for rumours about Brian Jean, I haven't heard any. People will have their own reasons for disliking him or Doug Faulkner -- politics requires thick skin. People will vote for name recognition in this community, and both candidates will have to cultivate their persona, although Faulkner has a considerable head start, especially with people who were not resident in Fort McMurray for such a long time as to appreciate who's the home-town boy.
Obviously, this is not a safe shot for the liberals, but is more in the 'upset' category than the 'miracle' category, should they win. Brian Jean has his work cut out for him, especially if people believe something about him that might be untrue or ill-informed, whatever that is.
With respect to Mr. Doerksen, I think it is obvious that we are not involved in a discussion of the candidate's objective merits, but rather an attempt to predict the outcome. This involves considering what voters will think, no matter how irrational or obtuse. Part of the democratic system we use is that voters can consider whatever they choose, irrelevant or not, when weighing the merits of a candidate. All that matters here is whether or not people believe the candidate has done something unethical or improper. Your preference for dealing with facts may not be the preference of most voters, regrettable or otherwise. If people believe rumours are being circulated that could effect Mr. Jean's electability, that would be something to mention here. No-one is passing judgment on their truth or even existence, save yourself. In short, sir, you're missing the rather obvious and unobstructed point of the site altogether.
08/05/04 Mr. Mischief
Email: [hidden]
I have no information, but an opinion and one fact. For some reason, you seem unclear as to whether or not this riding will elect a Conservative (!!!) Can anyone running this project tell me when Athabaska last elected a candidate who was not a conservative?
08/05/04 Lynal Doerksen
Email: [hidden]
Do you people who say you have "heard the rumours about Brian Jean" ever stop to ask if the rumours are true? Unethical? Illegal activity? If you have any real information perhaps you should forward it to the police or the Law Society of Alberta for their investigation. I suspect you do not know anything and are, for whatever reason, prepared to pass along or create this misinformation for some ulterior purpose.
I know something about Brian Jean as I have been a Crown Prosecutor in Fort McMurray for over 10 years. I have been in court many times working against Brian who was defending his client's interests. I have never seen, much less even heard, of any rumours of unethical conduct or illegal activity. Brian is ambitious and determined and I am sure in the course of his career as a lawyer and a businessman he hasn't pleased everyone. He has his faults too, just like anyone else. Frankly, I am surprised that whoever runs this web site allows people to mention these baseless rumours. I prefer to deal with facts, I wish everyone else would too.
As for the election, the Conservatives will win this riding easily. I don't see a right wing collapse here, especially with the merger of the two right wing parties. Adam Germain was a very popular candidate for the Liberals in '97 and he only got 30% of the vote. The fact that Faulkner has jumped from the Conservatives to the Liberals is going to be a difficult issue for him to overcome as it looks like he is more of a political opportunist than a principled politician.
06/05/04 Keith
Email: [hidden]
The challenge for voters in our riding will be to focus on the merits of the individuals running vs. the party they are running for. We have a very popular Mayor (Doug Faulkner) running for the liberal party and a very unpopular (in Fort McMurray anyways) ethically questionable lawyer (Brian Jean) running for the Conservatives. It will be interesting to see if the southern part of the riding (who don't know Jean) support the Conservative candidate and prove the assertion that the Conservatives could run a sleazy baboon in any rural riding in Alberta - and win. Time will tell. It will be a close race.
06/05/04 Stafford Gorsalitz
Email: [hidden]
This will clearly be a two man race between the Liberal and Conservative Candidates. Both Jean and Faulkner are long time residence of the community and name recognition alone will not favour either one of them. Jean is new to politics. Faulkner is obviously a seasoned vet at the municipal level and is stepping down from his Mayoral duties for a second crack at the federal level. Have not heard the rumours that some have alluded to about Mr. Jean. On the business side this political upstart has an impressive business resume with a number of successful businesses within the community. Mr. Faulkner on the other hand has been in the political limelight for a number of years. The other parties are not an option for this writer and my jury is still out on who I will vote for. I tend to vote for the candidate and not the party and as such will have to wait and listen to what each of these candidates has to say about the issues that are important to me. Both candidates are well known in the area but I have reservations about both. Jean's inexperience in the political arena raises questions about his ability to adequately represent the constituents, while my assessment of Mr. Faulkner is that he prefers to sit on the fence on most issues and that raises questions about the strength of his voice in Ottawa as well. In the end this may be one of the closest contests in the province and the result may have to be determined by the flip of a coin.
01/05/04 d
Email: deansherratt@rogers.com
I would note that almost every recent poll has the Liberals at around 30% across Alberta...quite a lot more than the 21% they received in 2000. That has to suggest some robust Liberals polls in Edmonton, but also a few outbreaks in the rest of the province...this riding included.
26/04/04 Edward
Email: [hidden]
I cannot believe anyone would think that this area will go Liberal. The facts are that in the last 2 general elections (1997 and 2000) the most either liberal received was 30% of the vote compared to 52% for the Alliance member and 12-13% for the PC candidate. The redistribution of Lac La Biche and Westlock does not effect the numbers significantly. La Biche usually goes 50-50 between the Liberals and the Conservatives but it depends on the quality of the candidates. The current Liberal candidate is not as well liked or popular as he was when he ran for the Conservative Party and only received 12% of the vote. If voters were to elect based on the person, why didn't he win more than 12% in that election? This is the same amount that a relative unknown candidate (McGladdery) received when he ran for the same party in the other general election. This area votes for the party, not the person and has been consistent since the late 1960's when the last Liberal was the member. In 1997 a very popular Fort McMurray Liberal candidate (Germain) could not get more than 30% of the federal vote even though he was the current Liberal MLA and won that election by a clear majority. I don't know the conservative candidate personally, but looking at his website and all the work experience, charity and community work that he has been involved with and the long time he has lived in the area, I understand why the Liberals are worried about this seat. He is the first candidate who has grown up in Fort McMurray (65% of the vote, Chatters was from Westlock and still won 52%), his family name is very well known and respected, he has been succesful in business, and as a local lawyer. Like him or not like him, he is he obviously very capable. I predict a clear win and the largest landslide the Conservatives have ever seen out of this area. I have heard more negative rumours (and remember anyone can start a rumour) about the Liberal candidate than I have of the Conservative. I vote based on facts and I think most Canadians do.
26/04/04 Blake Robert
Email: [hidden]
The riding of Athabasca hasn’t voted for anything but a Conservative (be it PC, Reform or Alliance) since 1958. Fort McMurray will certainly be the battle ground, but the CPC team in Athabasca should be able to mobilize their supporters in Fort McMurray and indeed across the riding. While the Liberals may have won the riding under these new boundaries in 1997… the Liberal Party of Canada is definitely not sitting on 1997 levels of support nor are they fighting two conservative parties on the national scene. It would take the earth opening up and swallowing the conservative campaign to make this a Liberal seat!
21/04/04 B.Barnes
Email: [hidden]
A quick revision of the 1997 election, using a poll-by-poll comparison, shows the liberals would have won the seat with these borders.
There's not much political science in the belief that Liberals can never win in Alberta just because it's Alberta. Using demographics, this seat looks like the 'North' (and if letters to the Fort McMurray local paper are considered, people were incensed in 2002 when the National Atlas of Canada declared the Reg. Mun of Wood Buffalo to be 'sub-northern', with Guy Boutilier chiming in to say that everybody knows we're Northern, bla-bla-bla.) In terms of voters born or at one point living elsewhere, particularly eastern Canada, looking at the average age, the ethnic mix, the voter turnout, Fort McMurray bears a resemblance to Whitehorse and Yellowknife. Also, Fort McMurray is a very large share of this riding, substantially moreso than the old one. The Arctic elected three liberals, Northern Saskatchewan a liberal, Northern Manitoba, NDP.
As for Lac La Biche, it has increasingly become a retiring ground for people from...Fort McMurray. The liberals have an excellent chance here, better than in recent years.
As for the Conservatives, they get a comfort-blanket in the form of the sponsorship scandal, but that won't last forever. At some point, you'll need policy, and a leader who doesn't need to 'get to know' voters in Eastern Canada to be liked (many of those Eastern Canadians live in Fort McMurray.) Somebody who can do it on television is usually a better start. If the election campaign gets ugly, they won't like the result. Even someone as timid as Martin isn't afraid of invoking Harper's pre-spolight politics, or relative sides on the war in Iraq, for the sake of staying in power. Good advice would be to decide who you are first, and what you're called later. Tories might find it easy to ride the coach before the horse to market now, but the campaign is not theirs to lose, by any means.
21/04/04 Concerned Conservative
I know there are a lot of people out there who don't think rural Alberta will elect anything but conservatives, and 9 times out of 10 i'm inclined to agree. But the current set of circumstances is a VERY unique case. To suggest that Brian Jean can be compared with Rob Anders is something of a stretch. Anders, although a bit wacko, has never been accused/rumoured to be involved in illegal criminal activities. I've spoken to many conservatives in Fort McMurray who are simply going to stay home because they can't be bothered to go cast a ballot for someone like Jean, even with the sponsorship scandal. Add to that the fact that no one in the core conservative area (the southern portion of the riding) knows Brian Jean and you've got a real conundrum... particularily if Faulkner can identify and mobilize his voters better than Jean. I think it will be a close race no matter what, but its the conservatives seat to lose. If they do, they can chalk it up to picking the wrong guy to carry their banner.
23/04/04 MJ
Email: ryan_593@hotmail.com
A friend of mine moved to Fort McMurray five weeks ago, we were talking and he thinks there's a good chance it'll go Liberal. Granted, he's only been there five weeks, so I don't pretend to think he's in on politics in the region, but if the Tory is unpopular as he appears to be, this may be a Grit steal - a complete anomoly in AB outside of Edmonton.
19/04/04 GM
Email: [hidden]
There is just no way that the Liberals win here, regardless of who is running for the Liberals! This riding might include Fort McMurray, it might include Lac La Biche, but it's still ALBERTA!
The crummy candidate with the Conservatives will beat the good candidate for the Liberals, and Brian Jean will do it with over 50% of the popular vote. (for a similar story of crummy candiate with good party, see Rob Anders in Calgary West)
19/04/04 Travis
Email: t_lingenfelter@hotmail.com
This riding is staying Conservative. With a split right this riding still went to the Alliance with 52% of the vote, and with a united right, there is no way this riding will go to the Liberals. The Liberals may have a popular candidate but that will not be enough to overcome the two billion dollar boondoggle for the gun registry, than we have the sponsorship scandal, and finally Liberals are down in the polls in Alberta.
19/04/04 Steve Lutz
Email: [hidden]
Athabasca too close to call? I just don't think so... Starting with a pluarality over 50%, adding in some PC votes due to the merger, and taking into account the sponsorship scandal, I can't see this as anything but a CP hold. I know predicting Alberta seats is boring, and people want to write something, but Libs in Athabasca? Nope.
18/04/04 B.Barnes
Email: [hidden]
Fort McMurray is a special place: the belief conservatives are unbeatable in this province gives people enough cause to vote against them. A large chunk of the town (a majority, even) are from elsewhere, see the city as the economic engine of the province, and don't care whatsoever what goes on in the rest of Alberta.
Faulkner is a known local figure who has trounced popular candidates for Mayor three times (he was never the favourite, and always came out significantly ahead of his opponents.) He has alot of energy: he doorknocks every home himself. That sort of personal attention attracts votes no matter what party one is running for. Although he ran as a PC in the past, it was a difficult effort to combine with his mayoralty and he wasn't supported by his usual backers. This time, when he's about to retire as mayor, with a solid team, his chances are good.
Jean is lacklustre and has personality issues. It's a good race: without a strong NDP option, the Conservatives should well be worried.
12/04/04 Keith Barrett
Email: [hidden]
I've gotta agree with the two guys predicting the Liberals. I'm no Liberal... I voted Alliance and Reform before but I just can't bring myself to vote for the guy the conservatives have picked. He's real stuck up and doesn't have an f-ing clue about what's going on in the constituency. I've heard the other rumours too (i think everyone in town has), and if they're true thatll sink him for sure. Either way though, I may have to sit this election out. I wont vote for a Liberal, but I wont vote for someone with no integrity just because they're Conservative either.
05/04/04 JT
Email: [hidden]
I thought I would add my two cents here. Regardless, how popular the Grit candidate is here. The sponsorship scandal has killed any chance of the Liberals gain seats in the West especially in Alberta. Daffy Duck could be the CPC candidate and get elected.
27/03/04 Rick Paul
I agree with John. A well-known and fairly popular Liberal candidate, combined with a very unpopular Conservative candidate spells trouble in toryland. This could actually be the only Liberal seat in Alberta when the dust settles.
25/03/04 John
The Conservatives, in theory, should keep this seat. However, there are two things going against that theory.
The first is the redistribution which removes the staunchly conservative Westlock and replaces it with the much more Liberal Lac La Biche (add to that the fact that Fort McMurray, which is always fairly well split between Cons and Lib, has grown substantially).
The second is the unextraordinary unpopularity of the Conservative candidate, Brian Jean. Mr. Jean shocked everyone when he won the Conservative nomination with busloads of non-conservatives. His reputation in Fort McMurray (the largest centre) is crap. Mr. Jean is possibly the most undesirable candidate possible. Many people have said that they're either voting Liberal or will not vote at all.
Combine these with a well-known (although not particularily well-versed) Liberal candidate, and Athabasca has the ingredients to become THE upset riding of the country.
17/03/04 Nick Boragina
Email: kee_empire@hotmail.com
The liberals will make a run for this northern riding, but they will fall short. The conservatives are just too popular in alberta.
17/03/04 Bear and Ape
Email: thebigape2000@hotmail.com
This is rural Alberta, there is no way it's going anything other than Conservative.
17/03/04 RWA
Email: radams2@uwo.ca
Pretty much all of rural Alberta will go Conservative. The <Liberals' only hope is to throw everything they have at Edmonton and hope to hold their two seats.

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