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Spadina poll predicts Blake Richards headed for fifth term as Banff-Airdrie MP

A recent poll of the Banff-Airdrie riding conducted by Saskatoon-based Spadina Insights projects Blake Richards will once again be headed to Ottawa as the Member of Parliament for Banff-Airdie. 
Incumbent MP Blake Richards speaks to a crowd during a forum at the Canmore Seniors Association in Canmore on Sept. 13.

A recent poll of the Banff-Airdrie electoral district conducted by Saskatoon-based Spadina Insights projects current Conservative MP and incumbent candidate Blake Richards will again head to Ottawa as the riding's federal representative.

According to a media release, a poll conducted on Sept. 14 asked Banff-Airdrie voters their candidate preference through an automated telephone interview. The sponsoring company said respondents were contacted on both landlines and cellular devices, which were identified using postal codes consistent with the region. 

A sample size of 350 voters was used in the poll, with a mix of age and gender combinations consistent with the local results of the 2016 census and the 2019 Labour Force Census to produce an accurate projection. 

The Conservatives were the top choice, garnering 43.7 per cent of the total vote. The Liberal Party candidate David Gamble came in second, trailing significantly with 12.9 per cent, followed by the NDP's Sarah Zagoda with 11.7 per cent, and the People's Party of Canada's Nadine Wellwood with 9.8 per cent.

Tariq Elnaga, representing the newly-formed Maverick Party, came in fifth in the poll, with a projected seven per cent of the vote, followed by independent Derek Sloan, who received just over six per cent. A former Conservative MP from Ontario, Sloan opted to run in Banff-Airdrie this year, citing a desire to take on and unseat Richards.

Spadina's poll indicated Aidan Blum from the Green Party collected 1.3 per cent of the projected vote. The poll also reported 6.7 per cent of Banff-Airdrie voters have yet to decide on their choice. 

Banff-Airdrie is the most contested riding in Alberta this year, with nine registered candidates. Other candidates not cited in Spadina's poll include independents Caroline O'Driscoll and Ron Voss.

A four-term MP, Richards collected 70.1 per cent of the vote in the last federal election in 2019, and has never received fewer than 63 per cent of the vote in any of his prior campaigns.

Advanced polls for the upcoming federal election were held on Sept. 10, 11, 12 and 13 across the country.

According to Elections Canada, an estimated 27,124 Banff-Airdrie residents cast their votes in the past weekend's advanced polls. That is an increase of more than 1,300 from the last general election held in 2019. 

Elections Canada has also reported that approximately 5,780,000 Canadian voted at the advance polls this year – an 18.46 per cent increase from the 4,879,312 electors who voted in advance in the 2019 general election. 

Election day for the 44th general election is set for Sept. 20.