While there were a few surprises on election night in Alberta, the riding of Drumheller- Stettler remained true blue.
Albertans went to the polls on Monday, May 29, to choose the next government, with the United Conservative Party (UCP) hoping to remain in government behind the leadership of Danielle Smith. Close at her heels is the New Democratic Party of Alberta (NDP) led by Rachel Notley. For the first time in Alberta’s history, two women are at the helm of the leading parties, and both are former premiers.
In the end, the province stayed blue, with the UCP and Danielle Smith retaining power. For a party to govern would mean they would need 44 seats, and the UCP was able to capture 49 seats to the NDP’s 38.
In Drumheller-Stettler, incumbent Nate Horner retained his seat with 82.1 per cent of the vote.
“Overall, Premier Smith did a good job staying focused on affordability and healthcare which were ballot questions for most people. We just tried to use our great team of volunteers, and Constituency Association directors, and run a good campaign. We tried to show people we are working on things that still matter to them,” Horner told the Mail.
There were approximately 1.76 million votes cast in the provincial election. The UCP had 52.56 per cent of the popular vote, and the NDP had 44.02 per cent of the vote.
“I think she (Premier Smith) was clear that she represents all Albertans whether you vote for us or not, that she would try to earn their trust through sound policy,” said Horner.
He says with the new balance of power, the legislature will look different.
“It will probably mean it will go a little slower and have a little bit more focus on prioritizing legislation. I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing,” he said.
Juliet Franklin of the NDP did an admirable job of getting out the vote in the Drumheller-Stettler riding and captured 14.4 per cent of the vote.
“I have talked to so many wonderful people in this riding and learned so much about the riding and the concerns that people have here,” said Franklin. “My volunteer did amazing work helping me get out there and get the word out.”
In the last election, the NDP received about 6.5 per cent of the vote.
Shannon Packham of the Independence Party of Alberta (IPA) received 2.1 per cent of the vote. Hannah Stretch Viens of the Wildrose Loyalty Coalition (WLC) and Carla Evers of the Solidarity Movement (SM) of Alberta were not able to crack one per cent of the vote.
In Olds- Didsbury-Three Hills Riding, Nathan Cooper easily retained his seat with 75.1 per cent of the vote. Cheryl Hunter Loewen of the NDP captured 18.9 per cent of the vote, Katherine Kowalchuk of the IPA had 4.7 per cent and Cam Tatlock of WLC and Judy Bridges of the SM had under one per cent.
One of the first ridings where a winner was declared on Monday evening was in the Brooks-Medicine Hat riding, where UCP Leader Danielle Smith was elected with 66.5 per cent of the vote. Gwendoline Dirk of the NDP had 27. 3 per cent of the vote, and former Brooks Mayor and Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita won 6.2 per cent of the vote.
These results are unofficial, and the official results will be posted on Thursday, June 8.