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Conservatives Take Back Alberta in Provincial Elections

One of Canada’s resource rich provinces swings back to the political right.

Conservatives are back in legislative control of Alberta in Canada as the new center-right to right-wing United Conservative Party (UCP) defeated the social democratic progressive New Democratic Party (NDP) in Tuesday, April 16’s provincial elections. The UCP, lead by former federal Member of Parliament Jason Kenney, won 63 seats while the Alberta affiliated NDP, lead by Premier Rachel A. Notley, won 24 seats in the province’s Legislative Assembly based in the provincial capital city of Edmonton.

Despite receiving thousands of votes province-wide, the centrist regionalist Alberta Party, the centrist Alberta affiliated Liberal Party and the new right-wing Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta received no seats due to first-past-the-post voting. Since the UCP will now become the new majority, Kenney, as leader of the party, will become the province’s next premier.

Campaigning on expanding the petroleum oil and natural gas industry as well as fiscal conservative policies to boost the economy, Kenney and the UCP’s victory is starting to reflect a conservative tide in multiple provincial elections across Canada. Out of the Northern American country’s ten provinces and three territories, 5 out of 13 premiers are now conservative including Ontario’s Doug Ford and Quebec’s François Legault. As the upcoming October federal election approaches, the governing center to center-left Liberal Party led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is neck-in-neck with the minority center-right Conservative Party led by Andrew Scheer in recent public opinion polls.

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