The first thing you may notice is the big shift in party representation in Alberta. While the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party were the two main parties in the 2015 election, the United Conservative Party (UCP) ultimately won the most seats, and will form the next government.
The first Alberta election held after the province adopted a fixed-date election date was in 1912. It was a hotly contested campaign between the Conservatives and the Liberals and ended in a tie. It was broken by the toss of a coin, which the Conservatives won.
To date, no Alberta election has produced a hung parliament. The last four elections have returned a clear majority for one party.
Election results in Alberta have historically been dominated by the province’s two main parties. In the last few elections, however, the NDP and the Conservatives have seen a significant drop in support. The Alberta Liberals have also seen a rise in support, as have both the Green Party and, to a lesser extent, the Alberta Party.
The date of Alberta’s next provincial election has not changed since 2000. That’s a long time! Some might argue that it’s time to change the date, but others might argue that it’s important to keep the date consistent, as it’s a familiar date for voters.
The first-place winner will secure a majority government, meaning there will be no successful opposition to their policies. The second-place party will secure the ability to form a coalition government with the first-place party. If no party wins a majority, then the Lieutenant Governors will invite the Premier-designate of the party with the most seats to form a government.
While Alberta is usually dominated by the right-leaning Conservative Party, the province has had a history of electing progressive governments. Since 1971, the Liberal Party has held power for 43 out of 50 years. In 2015, the NDP won a majority government for the first time in this province’s history.
The number of seats won in the Legislature by each party has a direct impact on the makeup of the government. The party with the most seats gets to pick the Premier and form the Government. The remaining members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are the opposition.
The Alberta election results will have a major impact on the future of the province. One of the biggest questions is whether the United Conservative Party will form the government. If they do form the majority, they will need to work quickly to pass a throne speech and budget. This will be a busy time for Premier Jason Kenney. He will have to work with the opposition parties to pass any bills that are necessary.