Party leaders have spent the last few days in a final push to get voters to the polls, doubling down on messaging and focusing on territory they want to claim in a bid to form Alberta’s next government.

For UCP Leader Jason Kenney, that meant the Edmonton region — which he has long considered his party’s foremost battleground — while NDP Leader Rachel Notley rallied the troops in Calgary Monday morning before heading back to her home turf in the capital.

Notley spent her final days on the campaign trail courting conservative voters and pushing a pro-pipeline message.

“We know the areas that we can win, and we know there are enough of them that we could still win a majority government,” she said during an interview in Canmore Friday.

“Sometimes elections are about these magical sweeps.”

You won’t hear Kenney use the word “magical.”

Instead, during his final weekend campaign stops in Northern Alberta — in Valleyview, about 350 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, and in the capital’s bedroom community Sherwood Park — he continued to wield the economic bat with which he hits the NDP at every event.

At a rally in Edmonton Friday night, Kenney highlighted his pipeline strategy, his intention to use so-called turn-off-the-taps legislation against B.C., and continued to insist a “Notley-Trudeau alliance” has ruined Alberta.

“We will work every day without relent to get Alberta back to work,” he told cheering supporters.

Although he’s a career politician with a ream of elections under his belt, in Calgary last week Kenney told Postmedia this campaign has been different.

“In the past I’ve seen people more analytical about policy issues, but now it just seems to be more personal,” he said.

Kenney insisted his party isn’t taking any riding for granted, but polling likely makes him confident about a UCP sweep of rural Alberta and chunks of Calgary.

Yet an optimistic attitude remained pervasive in the NDP camp.

“I’m a New Democrat in Alberta and the pundits have rarely predicted our success and yet we’ve had some success,” Notley said.

Edmonton, including Notley’s own riding of Edmonton-Strathcona, is on solid ground for the NDP, and her close-knit campaign team isn’t swayed by polls that show the UCP consistently in the lead.

“There’s nothing we would have done differently … that’s the mentality inside,” said campaign strategist Cheryl Oates, who worked as the premier’s communications director before the writ dropped.

A symbolic stop

During the campaign, Notley has spent the bulk of her time in …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Politics


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Leading contenders continue to trade shots in final days of the campaign

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