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Alberta painted orange

Wow. There’s not much more that can be said about what happened on Tuesday in the Alberta election, which brought in an NDP majority.


There’s not much more that can be said about what happened on Tuesday in the Alberta election, which brought in an NDP majority.

Albertans spoke, and they spoke loudly…what they are saying may seem obvious to some, but whether this was a true calling for real change in this province or flat out anger at the PC Party and its leader, is not yet clear.

Supporters of the NDP will say that people want change, and that could be true, but we’ll have to wait and see.

So, what was it like to be in attendance at the Wildrose candidate’s election night get-together?

Wagner and newly-elected NDP MLA Cam Westhead were neck-and-neck for a little bit, but things turned sharply left before anyone could see it coming.

8:10 p.m.: Results already start creeping in, and after the first poll reports, Wildrose candidate Scott Wagner is in the lead.

8:31 p.m.: NDP candidate Cam Westhead jets into the lead after four polls report with over 50 per cent of the vote.

8:41 p.m.: With five polls reporting, Westhead remains in the lead with 44.5 per cent, Wagner with 30 per cent and PC incumbent Ron Casey with 25.5 per cent.

8:51 p.m.: So close! Westhead with 38 per cent, Wagner 36 per cent and Casey with 26 per cent.

8:56 p.m.: Wagner supporters erupt with news that Wildrose is being projected as the official opposition. “That was the goal!” a man shouts.

9 p.m.: Westhead leads with 41 per cent of the vote, Wagner with 31 per cent and Casey with 26 per cent.

9:10 p.m.: NDP looks to be dominating this election, but supporters of the Wildrose candidate Wagner are upbeat and on edge, with the Banff-Cochrane vote too close to call.

9:12 p.m.: With every Wildrose victory displayed on TV, Wagner supporters applaud (some come in from outside thinking the Calgary Flames scored a goal).

9:18 p.m.: Wagner wins Jumping Pound poll location.

9:21 p.m.: PC Jim Prentice wins his riding; Wagner supporters verbally display their displeasure.

9:27 p.m.: Wildrose candidate for Banff-Cochrane arrives at Boston Pizza to a standing ovation: he remains in second place with 31 per cent of the vote.

9:29 p.m.: Projections are solid for an NDP majority government.

9:32 p.m.: Wagner supporters cheer Wildrose leader Brian Jean winning his riding.

9:37 p.m.: Banff-Cochrane numbers pop up on the TV screen showing Westhead leading by nearly a thousand votes – silence in the Wagner camp.

9:52 p.m.: It is clear that NDP candidate Westhead will win the Banff-Cochrane riding with a near 2,000 vote lead with only 10 polls left to report. Westhead has 43 per cent of the vote, Wager 29 per cent and PC incumbent Casey with 28 per cent.

9:57 p.m.: As Jim Prentice gives his speech, it sinks in that the PC Party took a beating in the 2015 election, garnering a mere 11 seats or leading at this time, with the Wildrose at 19 and NDP at 55.

10 p.m.: It also sinks in that the polls going into this election were much more accurate than they were in 2012.

10:01 p.m.: Boston Pizza erupts after Prentice says he will resign as leader of the PC Party.

In the end, it was a historic night for Alberta, and time will tell whether change will be welcomed or loathed.