The constituency of Banff-Airdrie has been a Conservative stronghold since its first election in 2015, but with a new crop of political candidates entering the race, it is rapidly becoming a riding to watch.
CPC whip Blake Richards is the incumbent Member of Parliament, and in the last election he won easily, with over 70% of the vote. In the Sept. 20 election, Richards will once again face off with Nadine Wellwood, the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) candidate who took just under 4% of the overall vote in 2019. There will also be Liberal and NDP candidates on the ballot. Those parties both received approximately 10% of the vote in the 2019 election, but we don’t expect to see much, if any, increased support for them.
Independent MP Derek Sloan has announced that he will also be running as an independent in the riding, which raised some eyebrows, after Sloan led several successful and well-attended events in the constituency and around rural Alberta. Maxime Bernier, the PPC leader, will be making appearances at two events in the riding on Monday, which could very well be a coincidence, though some have suggested he may be coming to bolster his candidate’s chances against Sloan.
Ultimately, a Conservative win is still likely, but with so many charismatic contenders throwing their hats into the ring, anything could happen.
Another of the charismatic candidates entering the race is Maverick Party candidate Tariq Elnaga, who believes that his party's principled, Western-focused platform may resonate with many potential voters who feel alienated by the current political options. We joined Elnaga in the foothills of Alberta where he shared his story about falling in love with Western Canada and moving here from the United Arab Emirates. We also discussed his party’s policies and some burning issues like vaccine passports and the tragic situation in Afghanistan.
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