From just four seats to a whopping 53 in the 87-seat legislature. Rachel Notley and Alberta’s NDP swept to a decisive victory in yesterday’s provincial election, which saw her party bring to an end four decades of conservative rule.
Defeated Premier and PC Party Leader Jim Prentice resigned, after his party failed even to take Official Opposition status. He took his party into the election with 70 seats and finished with just 10. Filling the conservative hole: Brian Jean and the Wildrose Party. They managed to take 21 seats, as well as holding Official Opposition status.
Many wondered whether or not the various polls released prior to Election Day, which indicated the NDP were set for such a win, would actually prove true. After all, pollsters had failed to predict the outcomes of other provincial elections, most notably in neighbouring British Columbia.
Evidently, the desire for change—the PCs had been in government since 1971—was strong enough to carry the New Democrats to victory, despite their opponents, the oil patch and even some in the media suggesting a vote for Notley was too risky.
Many in Edmonton and indeed Ottawa will be looking at the results of Alberta’s election in the days and weeks ahead. While it would be premature to read too much into how the NDP’s win in Alberta will play out across the country in the forthcoming federal election or in the provincial one in Manitoba, it is safe to conclude a seismic political event took place last night that will reverberate from coast to coast.