1986 Alberta general election

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1986 Alberta general election

← 1982 May 8, 1986 (1986-05-08) 1989 →

83 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
42 seats were needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
Ray Martin.jpg
Leader Don Getty Ray Martin
Party Progressive Conservative New Democratic
Leader since November 1, 1985 1984
Leader's seat Edmonton-Whitemud Edmonton-Norwood
Last election 75 seats, 62.3% 2 seats, 18.7%
Seats before 75 2
Seats won 61 16
Seat change Decrease14 Increase14
Popular vote 366,783 208,561
Percentage 51.4% 29.2%
Swing Decrease10.9% Increase10.5%

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Nicholas Taylor Raymond Speaker
Party Liberal Representative
Leader since March 2, 1974 1982
Leader's seat Westlock-Sturgeon Little Bow
Last election 0 seats, 1.8% pre-creation
Seats before 0 2
Seats won 4 2
Seat change Increase4 ±0
Popular vote 87,239 36,656
Percentage 12.2% 5.1%
Swing Increase10.4%

Premier before election

Don Getty
Progressive Conservative

Premier after election

Don Getty
Progressive Conservative

The 1986 Alberta general election was the twenty-first general election for the Province of Alberta, Canada. It was held on May 8, 1986, to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

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.[1]


Overall voter turnout was 47.25%.[2]

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%
Liberal Nicholas Taylor 63 - 4   87,239 12.22% +10.41%
Representative Raymond Speaker 46 * 2 * 36,656 5.15% *
  Independent 20 2 - -100% 6,134 0.86% -3.01%
Western Canada Concept Jack Ramsay 20 - - - 4,615 0.65% -11.11%
Confederation of Regions Elmer Knutson 6 * - * 2,866 0.40% *
Heritage Mike Pawlus 6 * - * 601 0.08% *
Communist David Wallis 6 - - - 199 0.03% -0.01%
Total 333 79 83 - 713,654 100%  
Source: Elections Alberta


* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.

Popular vote
New Democratic
Seats summary
New Democratic

Members elected[edit]

For complete electoral history, see individual districts

21st Alberta Legislative Assembly
District Member Party
  Athabasca-Lac La Biche Leo Piquette NDP
  Banff-Cochrane Greg Stevens Progressive Conservative
  Barrhead Ken Kowalski Progressive Conservative
  Bonnyville Ernie Isley Progressive Conservative
  Bow Valley Tom Musgrove Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Bow Neil Webber Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Buffalo Sheldon Chumir Liberal
  Calgary-Currie Dennis Anderson Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Egmont David J. Carter Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Elbow David John Russell Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Fish Creek William Edward Payne Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Foothills Janet Koper Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Forest Lawn Barry Pashak NDP
  Calgary-Glenmore Dianne Mirosh Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-McCall Stan Nelson Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-McKnight Eric Musgreave Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Millican Gordon Shrake Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Montrose Rick Orman Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Mountain View Bob Hawkesworth NDP
  Calgary-North Hill Fred Stewart Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-North West Stan Cassin Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-Shaw Jim Dinning Progressive Conservative
  Calgary-West Elaine McCoy Progressive Conservative
  Camrose Ken Rostad Progressive Conservative
  Cardston Jack Ady Progressive Conservative
  Chinook Henry Kroeger Progressive Conservative
  Clover Bar Walt Buck Representative
  Cypress-Redcliff Alan Hyland Progressive Conservative
  Drayton Valley Shirley Cripps Progressive Conservative
  Drumheller Stanley Schumacher Progressive Conservative
  Dunvegan Glen Clegg Progressive Conservative
  Edmonton-Avonmore Marie Laing NDP
  Edmonton-Belmont Tom Sigurdson NDP
  Edmonton-Beverly Ed Ewasiuk NDP
  Edmonton-Calder Christie Mjolsness NDP
  Edmonton-Centre William Roberts NDP
  Edmonton-Glengarry John Younie NDP
  Edmonton-Glenora Nancy Betkowski 1 Progressive Conservative
  Edmonton-Gold Bar Bettie Hewes Liberal
  Edmonton-Highlands Pam Barrett NDP
  Edmonton-Jasper Place Leslie Young Progressive Conservative
  Edmonton-Kingsway Alex McEachern NDP
  Edmonton-Meadowlark Grant Mitchell Liberal
  Edmonton-Mill Woods Gerry Gibeault NDP
  Edmonton-Norwood Ray Martin NDP
  Edmonton-Parkallen Neil Stanley Crawford Progressive Conservative
  Edmonton-Strathcona Gordon Wright NDP
  Edmonton-Whitemud Don Getty Progressive Conservative
  Fort McMurray Norm Weiss Progressive Conservative
  Grande Prairie Bob Elliott Progressive Conservative
  Highwood Harry Alger Progressive Conservative
  Innisfail Nigel Pengelly Progressive Conservative
  Lacombe Ronald Moore Progressive Conservative
  Lesser Slave Lake Larry Shaben Progressive Conservative
  Lethbridge-East Archibald D. Johnston Progressive Conservative
  Lethbridge-West John Gogo Progressive Conservative
  Little Bow Raymond Speaker Representative
  Lloydminster Doug Cherry Progressive Conservative
  Macleod LeRoy Fjordbotten Progressive Conservative
  Medicine Hat Jim Horsman Progressive Conservative
  Olds-Didsbury Roy Brassard Progressive Conservative
  Peace River Al Adair Progressive Conservative
  Pincher Creek-Crowsnest Frederick Deryl Bradley Progressive Conservative
  Ponoka-Rimbey Halvar Jonson Progressive Conservative
  Red Deer-North Stockwell Day Progressive Conservative
  Red Deer-South John Oldring Progressive Conservative
  Redwater-Andrew Steve Zarusky Progressive Conservative
  Rocky Mountain House John Murray Campbell Progressive Conservative
  Sherwood Park Peter Elzinga Progressive Conservative
  Smoky River Marvin Moore Progressive Conservative
  St. Albert Bryan Strong NDP
  St. Paul John Drobot Progressive Conservative
  Stettler Brian C. Downey Progressive Conservative
  Stony Plain Jim Heron Progressive Conservative
  Taber-Warner Robert Bogle Progressive Conservative
  Three Hills Connie Osterman Progressive Conservative
  Vegreville Derek Fox NDP
  Vermilion-Viking Steve West Progressive Conservative
  Wainwright Robert Fischer Progressive Conservative
  Westlock-Sturgeon Nicholas Taylor Liberal
  West Yellowhead Ian Reid Progressive Conservative
  Wetaskiwin-Leduc Donald H. Sparrow Progressive Conservative
  Whitecourt Peter Trynchy Progressive Conservative

1Nancy Betkowski later changed her last name to Nancy MacBeth.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allan Tupper, "New Dimensions Of Alberta Politics." Queen's Quarterly 1986 93(4): 780-791.
  2. ^ Election Alberta (July 28, 2008). 2008 General Report (PDF). p. 158. Retrieved April 29, 2011.