PCs win majority government, Wildrose make up opposition
Published Tuesday, April 24, 2012 12:53AM MDT
After a hard-fought four weeks of campaigning, and polls showing a 41 year Conservative dynasty was in danger of an upset – the Progressive Conservative Party emerged with a 12th consecutive victory.
According to CTV election results, the Progressive Conservatives ended the night with just over 70 percent, or 61 of the 87 seats in the Legislature, the Wildrose Party ended up with 18 seats, and both the New Democratic Party and Liberal Party walked away with 4.
In her victory speech, Progressive Conservative Leader Alison Redford thanked her supporters, and talked about her party's future in the Legislature.
"I ran to be leader of the Progressive Conservative Party because I wanted to bring change to Alberta," Redford said. "We talked about change in the campaign. We began to introduce change in the last 7 months.
"I promised Alberta we would."
The win makes Premier-elect Alison Redford Alberta's first elected female premier in its 107 year history.
For the upstart Wildrose, and Alberta's new Opposition Leader, the result wasn't quite what was expected, evident in Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith's speech: "Well folks, tonight we found out that change might take a little longer than we thought," Smith said.
As for why the polls did not reflect the actual result of the election, Smith credited strategic voting.
"I think the strategic voting actually surprisingly may have worked," Smith said. "I think Ms. Redford won this campaign in the same way she won [the PC] Leadership – by convincing Liberal and NDP supporters to vote for her party."
Meanwhile, the leader of the former opposition party – which lost three seats – congratulated the Premier-elect on her party's win.
"We must remember a great maxim of democracy – the people are wise," Liberal Leader Raj Sherman said. "It is out of deference and respect that I congratulate Alison Redford and the Progressive Conservative Party."
For the New Democratic Party, which gained two seats in this election, Leader Brian Mason also credited strategic voting with at least one of his party's gains.
"I think people were scared of the Wildrose and that's unfortunate," Mason said. "But the fact of the matter is we doubled our seats, and I am very much looking forward to getting back into the Legislature."
The Progressive Conservatives also finished ahead with their nominees for the Senate, with all three endorsed candidates winning: Doug Black, Scott Tannas and Mike Shaikh.