October 4, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Elections: Slow count in Alberta

Elections: Slow count in Alberta

As ballots were counted in Alberta on Monday night, voters were hungry with no clear indication of who would be in power an hour after polls closed.

Almost an hour after counting began in Alberta, fewer than 20,000 votes had been counted, while a dozen constituencies had yet to return results.

At 10:55 p.m., Daniel Smith’s United Conservative Party (UCP) leads in 45 counties, against 29 for Rachel Notley’s New Democratic Party (NDP). The Conservatives also held a slight lead with 52% of the overall vote, compared to 44% for the New Democrats.

Alberta’s Conservative Party (PCU) and New Democratic Party (NDP) are neck and neck in the race for 87 seats in the Legislative Assembly.

A recent Ipsos poll for “Global News” published the day before gave a slight lead with 51% of voters in favor of the outgoing prime minister.

Both political parties will compete in Calgary, with the NDP leading in Edmonton, with 57% of voters surveyed, Ms. 40% for Smith’s PCU.

On the other hand, the PCU would dominate elsewhere in Alberta, where it would have taken a step forward with polling results of 65% against the NDP at 31%.

Early voting has seen strong turnout, according to Elections Alberta, which reports that 758,550 voters have already cast early ballots out of 2.8 million people, or about 27% of the electorate.

Considered a politically quiet province with parties in power for decades, Alberta has experienced power shocks over the past decade.

In 2015, Rachel Notley was able to take advantage of the separation of powers to sneak into power, before handing over the keys to her offices to Jason Kenney’s PCU in 2019, the latter being ousted in the spring. In 2022 its activists became disaffected with its handling of the pandemic, eventually electing Daniel Smith as party and provincial leader in the autumn.

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