#abpoli #abvote -- After 44 years of one party rule, a majority of Albertans finally had enough of the PCs. with the NDP going from zero seats in 1993 to 53 seats in 2015 and a majority government.
Like Saskatchewan, what we've seen is the crushing of the traditional PC and Liberal parties in Alberta, replaced with new(er) parties.
I've said all along that the NDP should elect Rachel Notley as their leader and move their policies to the middle to be middle-class-friendly. What we essentially saw was the NDP adopting the original policies of the Lougheed PCs while the PCs under Prentice collapsed with one sentence from the debate, "Math is hard".
Some quick notes from the historical results:
- The combined Wildrose + PC Party votes were greater than the NDP in 61 ridings (71%) and greater than the NDP + Liberal + Alberta Party combined vote in 53 ridings (61%). Conservatism is not dead in Alberta, it just suffered under the imputation of vote splitting.
- Edmonton is completely represented by NDP MLAs, some who are still post-secondary students. The NDP website has now completely removed the bios of their candidates!
- The Wildrose got 24% of the vote, the PCs got 28%, but due to the Wildrose smart, focused campaigning in key ridings, they concentrated the vote better and got over twice as many seats as the PCs.
- The Alberta Party won its first seat with the election of its leader Greg Clark.
- I have never seen someone win their seat and step down before all the results were in. Jim Prentice stepping down as leader was no surprise, but sticking it to the voters in his riding with another by-election was sad. But we can't say we didn't warn the PCs for their many years of arrogance, entitlement, and mismanagement.
- Speaking of byelections, every vote counts, folks. There was a tie in Calgary-Glenmore between the NDP and PC candidates at 7,015 votes each.
Now some predictions:
- The new major NDP cabinet posts will be Brian Mason (Finance and Deputy Premier), Deron Bilous (Education), and David Eggan (Health).
- Former liberals will become dissatisfied with their parked vote with the NDP and likely jump ship to the Alberta Party more than ever the longer Dr. David Swann remains leader.
- The NDP and Wildrose will work together on some campaign finance reforms, but the NDP will conveniently forget about their proportional representation party policy.
- The Wildrose will remain official opposition for two years while the backroom talks continue to merge with the PCs and create a new party called "The Conservative Party of Alberta" in the same manner in which the federal party was created. That said, the Wildrose candidates signed on to not "crossing the floor". However, if a new party was formed, this may negate that promise. I also predict that former Medicine Hat MP, Monte Solberg, will lead the party. Until that merger happens, the NDP will remain in power.
And there you have it folks. I think we are still in shock, but at the same time, not surprised by the huge miscalculation by Jim Prentice, whose political instinct was so bad that he shouldn't have disregarded the fixed election date law, but called this election anyway because the PCs were simply that arrogant.
And after 44 years coming to an end, with a left-leaning party in power, for conservatives of all stripes, it's going to be a long hangover.