1986 Alberta general election
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83 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
42 seats were needed for a majority
Peter Lougheed, who had created the modern Alberta Progressive Conservatives, led it to power in 1971, and served as premier of Alberta for fourteen years, retired from politics in 1985. The PC Party elected Don Getty as its new leader.
Getty was not able to gain the confidence of Albertans as Lougheed had, and the party's popular vote fell by ten percentage points. The PCs were still, however, able to win a fifth term in government, with over half the votes in the province, and 61 of the 83 seats in the legislature. While the PC's continued to dominate in Calgary and rural Alberta, unlike previous PC victories the party was badly routed in the provincial capital Edmonton where it won only four seats.
The New Democratic Party, now led by Ray Martin, was able to make itself the focus of opposition to the PC government, winning almost 30% of the vote, and sixteen seats in the legislature (up from two in the 1982 election), mostly in Edmonton where they became the dominant political party. It would be the best result for the NDP in any election prior to the 2015 election which they won.
The Liberal Party of Nicholas Taylor returned to the legislature for the first time since 1969 with four seats. Two seats were won by former Social Credit members who had formed the Representative Party of Alberta after winning re-election in 1982 as independents.
Western Canada Concept, a western separatist party that had won almost 12% of the vote in 1982, collapsed under the leadership of Jack Ramsay, who later served as a Reform Party of Canada Member of Parliament.
The Social Credit Party of Alberta nominated no candidates. The party had governed Alberta for 36 years before getting bounced out of power by the Tories in 1971.
The election of a 22-member opposition to Alberta's legislature signals for the first time since 1971 a significant competitive voice to the dominant Conservative Party in that province's voting citizenship. This development and the emergence of the New Democrats as the primary opposition party in Alberta necessitates a reevaluation of Alberta politics, which critics have long labeled as ideologically conservative, anachronistic, and oddly unpredictable. Alberta politics are now beginning to resemble that of Canada's other provinces. The rise of a new, competent opposition is a healthy development in Alberta's politics and will likely contribute positively to Alberta's economic and social well-being, Tupper (1986) argues.
Overall voter turnout was 47.25%.
|Party||Party leader||Candidates||Seats||Popular vote|
|1982||Elected||% Change||#||%||% Change|
|Progressive Conservative||Don Getty||83||75||61||-18.7%||366,783||51.40%||-10.88%|
|New Democratic||Ray Martin||83||2||16||+700%||208,561||29.22%||+10.47%|
|Western Canada Concept||Jack Ramsay||20||-||-||-||4,615||0.65%||-11.11%|
|Confederation of Regions||Elmer Knutson||6||*||-||*||2,866||0.40%||*|
|Source: Elections Alberta|
* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.
For complete electoral history, see individual districts
1Nancy Betkowski later changed her last name to Nancy MacBeth.
- Allan Tupper, "New Dimensions Of Alberta Politics." Queen's Quarterly 1986 93(4): 780-791.
- Election Alberta (July 28, 2008). 2008 General Report (PDF). p. 158. Retrieved April 29, 2011.