After members of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative caucuses met in Edmonton Monday, choosing their interim leader – while one leadership campaign got underway.

On Monday, Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper was elected as interim leader at their first joint meeting in Edmonton, he issued a statement later Monday:

“I want to thank the united caucus for putting their confidence in me as their interim leader, it is truly a great honour. Conservatives are now united for the greater good of Albertans, and we will put their concerns at the forefront of our legislative efforts each and every day.”

“Albertans have been looking for a single principled, compassionate, conservative party, and I believe that’s exactly what they’re going to receive in the UCP,” Cooper told reporters outside the meeting Monday.

Later Monday, Brian Jean, who led the Wildrose Party, officially launched his leadership bid Monday afternoon at a campaign event in Airdrie, Alberta.

“Today is the first day, I believe, to take back control of our province,” Jean said.

“The decisions the NDP government are making are hurting our friends, they’re hurting our neighbours, our relatives and our communities.”

Jason Kenney, who was recently elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party has announced his intention to run, he did not plan public appearances for Monday.

Calgary lawyer Doug Schweitzer has also entered the race, and has already started campaigning.

The party will choose a new leader on October 28.

CTV News has learned the United Conservative Party (UCP) had filed papers with Elections Alberta, which means they could officially become a political party in the coming days.

“The question is, where will moderate conservatives go,” political analyst Lori Williams said.

Williams said she thinks there’s a chance for parties closer to centre to pick up votes in the new political climate, and despite the ‘united’ name, not all conservative voters are on board.

“Certainly those who are further to the right, but what happens at the centre right is a little more of an open question at this stage,” Williams said.

The UCP is expected to start with 29 seats in the legislature, as MLA Richard Starke has announced he will not sit as a UCP member – concerned the new party wouldn’t be progressive enough.

The governing NDP has 55 seats.

With files from Bill Fortier