Polls are closed in Alberta election

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 17, 2019

The incumbent - the Alberta Party's Rick Fraser - was briefly a UCP member after his Progressive Conservatives merged with the Wildrose Party in 2017. That was well ahead of the 235,000 who came out early in the 2015 election that saw Rachel Notley's NDP deliver a surprise knockout blow to the 44-year run of the Progressive Conservatives.

What was more interesting was how Mainstreet broke the responses down by region, with the NDP commanding a 12.2 point lead over the UCP in Edmonton and the UCP taking it by a 25.6 point margin anywhere that is not Edmonton or Calgary.

Kenney, a 50-year-old former federal cabinet minister, vowed action on jobs and the economy.

With a change in Alberta legislature potentially imminent, many are asking what a Kenney-led government could mean for the province and, in particular, its crucial energy industry.

New York-based Eurasia Group said in a report last week that a Kenney victory could elevate short-term uncertain for the energy sector, especially if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government manages to hold onto power in October.

Nearly 700,000 people voted early in advance polls.

The province, once a money-making dynamo thanks to sky-high oil prices, has been struggling for years with sluggish returns on royalties, reduced drilling activity and unemployment levels stubbornly above seven per cent in Calgary and Edmonton.

Kenney says his government will have the lowest tax regime in Canada and will cut red tape.

Notley, in turn, said Kenney's plan to freeze spending and pursue more private-care options in health care would have a profound impact on students and patients. A number of his candidates either quit or apologized for past comments that were anti-LGBTQ, anti-Islamic or sympathetic to white nationalism.

On the margins of the campaign were the centrist Alberta and Liberal parties.

Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel was the only leader in the survey that had a higher favorability rating than unfavourability - 32.1% to 27.3% - though keep in mind that 12.1% of respondents stated that they were "not familiar" with him and 28.5% stated that they were "not sure". Considered a battleground, the riding may represent the fate of the NDP's climate change and carbon tax program. The UCP's Flatla has made the carbon tax the focus of her campaign and has promised to repeal it in the first legislature sitting.

The bill gives Alberta the power to reduce oil flows to B.C.in retaliation for its opposition to the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

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