Alberta general election, 2008
83 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Map of Alberta's riding coloured in to indicate winning party and popular vote.
It was expected to be called early because the governing Progressive Conservatives held a leadership election on December 2, 2006, in which Ed Stelmach was elected to replace Ralph Klein as party leader and Premier. The election was called when Stelmach formally advised Lieutenant Governor Norman Kwong to dissolve the Legislature, which happened on February 4, 2008.
With 53% of the popular vote, the Progressive Conservatives won a decisive majority over the Liberal and other parties, despite early suggestions of a closer race.
- 1 Results
- 2 Vote and seat summaries
- 3 Policy and other major announcements
- 4 Results by region
- 5 Opinion polls
- 6 Target ridings
- 7 MLAs not running again
- 8 Timeline
- 9 Nominated candidates
- 10 References
- 11 External links
On election night the Progressive Conservatives were able to increase their majority by winning seats previously held by opposition parties. The Tories also increased their share of the popular vote, and even though the Tories' share of this vote was still significantly less than it was in 2001 they managed to win just two fewer seats than they won in that election. The reasons for this development include the fact that the Tories' continued to poll a significant share of the rural electorate and also because the Tories' support in the major cities was much more evenly divided between Calgary and Edmonton this time. The Conservative gains came mostly in and around Edmonton where the party recorded its best result since 1982.
The Alberta Liberals who held onto official opposition status sustained a net loss of seven of their 16 existing seats, especially in the Edmonton area where they were reduced to just three seats, but they were able to win five seats in Calgary (a net gain of one seat and the largest total won by that party in that city in the past 50 years). The Liberals also held their existing seat in Lethbridge for a total of nine seats.
The other parties that were represented in the legislature also suffered losses on election night. The Alberta New Democrats lost two of their four Edmonton seats, and the Wildrose Alliance Party was shut out of the legislature when their leader Paul Hinman was very narrowly defeated in his own constituency of Cardston-Taber-Warner.
For the first time in history, a majority of the Alberta Liberal caucus will be from Calgary and the number of combined Liberal and NDP MLAs from Edmonton will not exceed the number of these parties' legislators from Calgary.
|Party||Party leader||# of
|2004||Dissol.||2008||% Change||#||%||% Change||Progressive Conservative||Ed Stelmach||83||621||60||72||+20%||501,063||52.72||+5.92%|
|NDP||Brian Mason||83||4||4||2||-50%||80,578||8.48||-1.72%||Wildrose Alliance||Paul Hinman||61||1||1||-||-100%||64,407||6.78||-1.92%2||Greens||George Read||79||-||-||-||-||43,222||4.55||+1.80%|
|Social Credit||Len Skowronski||8||-||-||-||-||2,043||0.21||-1.02%||Separation||Bruce Hutton||1||-||-||-||-||119||0.01||-0.52%||Communist||Naomi Rankin||2||-||-||-||-||96||0.01||xx||Alberta Party||Bruce Stubbs||1||-||-||-||-||42||0.00||-0.28%|
|Wikinews has related news: Conservatives in Alberta, Canada re-elected 11th consecutive time|
- 1 Liberal Chris Kibermanis originally had a five-vote margin over Progressive Conservative Thomas Lukaszuk. A judicial recount on January 24, 2005, determined Thomas Lukaszuk the winner.
- 2 Results change is compared to the Alberta Alliance in 2004.
Vote and seat summaries
Policy and other major announcements
- Immediate elimination of health care premiums
- Increasing per capita spending on policy in Calgary from $16 to $20
- Re-legislation of tuition policy so it is made in open session
- Implementation of a public pharmacare program
- Using tobacco taxes, spend approximately $200 million to create a Community Wellness Fund which will seek to expand Family & Community Support Services and fund healthy living and lifestyle programs
- Redirect the $250 million Natural Gas Rebate Program towards incentives for energy efficiency
- Triple funding for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts
- Increase the number of health care workers
- Investment of 30% of all natural resource revenues in:
- investment in the Heritage Fund so that income taxes can remain permanently low
- elimination of the infrastructure deficit by 2014
- establishment of an uncapped endowment for post-secondary education
- establishment of a $500 million endowment fund for arts, social sciences, and humanities
- Elimination of the education section of the property tax for seniors (appox. $700 a year)
- Increasing the tax credit for seniors' caregivers to $9,355 from $4,355.
- Making both Calgary and Edmonton into independent cities via a "Big Cities" Charter
- Hiring 300 more police officers for Calgary and Edmonton
- Fixed election dates
Cost: Net costs are zero as a result of re-allocating existing dollars and increased royalty revenues.
- Making life affordable
- Create 4,000 new child care spaces.
- Cap rates of $25/day ($500/month) for infant care and $9/day ($180/month) for after school care.
- Regulate after-school care for children.
- Increase start-up grants for daycare centres and day homes.
- Provide additional sustainable grants to day cares to increase wages for childcare workers.
- Introduce rent controls.
- Introduce limits on condominium conversions.
- Full value royalties
- Follow example set by Alaska and replace the royalty system.
- Create an all-party, special committee of the legislature to investigate royalties and report back in three months.
- Add a variable royalty structure that would increase the royalty revenues when oil prices pass a peak threshold.
- Increase royalties on other non-renewable resources such as coal.
- Green energy plan
- Create a green energy fund that will receive $2 billion a year primarily through enhanced royalties. Use that money to fund energy efficient retro-fitting and alternative energy production systems for individual houses and building.
- Fund alternative power generation projects such as solar and wind farms.
- Place hard caps on greenhouse gas emissions with penalties for companies that exceed targets — details to be worked out later.
- Slow down the pace of development
- Big dollar signs out of politics
- End campaign contributions from unions and corporations.
- Table legislation binding all leadership and nomination contests to the same disclosure rules and donation limits of political parties.
- Immediately end health-care premiums.
- Create a new pharmaceutical agency to purchase drugs in bulk, negotiate prices with drug companies and find less costly options to brand-name drugs.
- Roll back tuition levels to 1999–2000 levels.
- Cap interest for student loans at prime.
- Invest $100 million in student housing immediately.
- Eliminate fees and fund-raising for learning essentials.
- Phase out funding for private schools.
- Hire 800 additional police officers
- Mandate basic value-added and upgrading for all bitumen mined in Alberta to be done in the province.
- Add an interim per barrel tax on all bitumen exported outside the province.
- Establish a bitumen pricing system.
- Start a public automobile insurance system.
- Provide stable funding for non-profit First Nation and Metis agencies.
- Tie AISH and social assistance rates to a market basket measure.
- Introduce $30 million in new funding for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Cost: $477 million surplus, based on increased royalty rates, bitumen royalty premium and reverse corporate tax cuts.
- Elimination of health care premiums over four years
- Increase the number of health care workers
- Construct 18 new schools in Calgary and Edmonton, including health focused schools
- $6 billion a year to build and improve urban transit, highways, schools, parks and seniors facilities
- Tax credits to businesses and homeowners who renovate to utilize energy efficient appliances
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 200 megatons by 2050
- Increase oil and gas revenue by $2 billion
- Introduce royalty that would increase with the price of oil
- Create a secretariat for action on homelessness
- Create a new cultural policy that includes recreation and sport along with arts and performance
- Double the tax credit for those supporting dependent family members
Cost: Total commitments represent 4.2 per cent of the budget for 2008–09 or $1.5 billion.
- Immediately eliminate health care premiums
- Raise the basic personal income tax exemption to $20,000
- Cut the provincial corporate tax rate from 10% to 8%
- Allow income splitting for taxpayers who care for dependents in times of medical or other crisis
- Direct savings from slowing spending growth to the Heritage Fund so that personal income taxes can eventually be eliminated
- Allow governance and service delivery at the municipal and community levels as much as possible
- As part of the party's universal health care plan, implement a pilot program in one of the smaller health regions that will be modelled after funding following the patients rather than the per capita funding currently in place today. Similarly, establish a school choice voucher pilot.
- Provide significant debt relief to Alberta-trained medical professionals who commit to practising in the province at least five years
- Establish fixed election dates, allow for citizen initiatives via referendums, and enact the right to recall elected officials
Costs: Cost of promises not released.
- Green tax shift (i.e. lower income and business taxes in exchange for higher resource taxes)
- Community-based development
- Balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility
- Recovery of waste energy through co-generation
- Assessing royalty waste on a reservoir by reservoir basis
- Provide low interest loans to businesses for energy retrofits
- Provide no interest loans to homes for energy conservation
- Ban the use of cosmetic pesticides
- Increase spending in the Child Welfare Department
- Pass a Protected Lands Act that will clarify different land uses. The act will include:
- Increase land designated as protected
- Protect the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) corridor
- Authority and resources to enforce the legislation for protected areas officers
- Increasing the supply of affordable housing
- More housing cooperatives and co-housing type developments
- Ensuring units are maintained by organizations that have a vested interest in sustaining them
- Working with the municipalities to make urban development plans that preserve farmland
- Investing in public transit
- Ensuring a continued supply of fresh water
Results by regionTemplate:Canadian politics/party colours/Wildrose Alliance/row
|Party name||Cgy.||Edm.1||Leth.||R.D.||North||Central||South||Total||Progressive Conservative||Seats:||18||13||1||2||10||20||8||72||Popular vote:||45.81%||42.74%||46.16%||55.46%||65.83%||65.13%||60.85%||52.66%|
|Parties that won no seats:|
|Wildrose Alliance||Popular vote:||8.96%||1.51%||7.61%||7.74%||5.65%||5.86%||16.02%||6.77%||Green||Popular vote:||4.87%||3.16%||3.02%||5.71%||3.19%||6.12%||3.63%||4.58%|
|Social Credit||Popular vote:||0.20%||0.06%||xx||xx||0.39%||0.54%||xx||0.22%||Separation||Popular Vote:||xx||xx||xx||xx||xx||0.05%||xx||0.01%||Communist||Popular vote:||0.02%||0.02%||xx||xx||xx||xx||xx||0.01%||Alberta Party||Popular vote:||xx||0.02%||xx||xx||xx||xx||xx||0.01%|
1 "Edmonton" corresponds to only the city of Edmonton. (Only the ridings whose names begin with "Edmonton".) The four suburban ridings around the city as listed below are grouped with central Alberta in this table.
|Polling Firm||Last Date of Polling||Link||Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association align="center"| Prog. Cons.||Liberal||New Democratic||Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Wildrose Alliance align="center"| Alliance||Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Green align="center"| Green|
|Election results||March 3, 2008||53%||26%||9%||7%||5%|
|Angus Reid Strategies||February 29, 2008||||43%||28%||13%||10%||7%|
|Strategic Counsel||February 28, 2008||||50%||25%||8%||10%||8%|
|Leger Marketing||February 25, 2008||||55%||24%||7%||8%||6%|
|Angus Reid Strategies||February 20, 2008||||42%||31%||9%||10%||8%|
|Ipsos-Reid||February 17, 2008||||49%||28%||14%||5%||4%|
|Environics||February 7, 2008||||52%||25%||10%||6%||7%|
|Leger Marketing||January 24, 2008||||49%||28%||11%||5%||8%|
|Strategic Counsel||January 13, 2008||||58%||19%||9%||5%||9%|
|Last election||22 November 2004||48.8%||29.4%||10.2%||8.7%||2.8%|
The following is a list of ridings that were narrowly lost by the indicated party in the 2004 election. For instance, under the Liberal column are the nine seats in which they came closest to winning but did not. Listed is the name of the riding, followed by the party which was victorious (in parentheses) and the margin, in terms of percentage of the vote, by which the party lost.
These ridings were likely targeted by the specified party because the party lost them by a very slim margin in the 2004 election.
Up to ten are shown, with a maximum margin of victory of 15%.
* Indicates incumbent not running again.
|Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association align=center| Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta||Alberta Liberal Party|
|Alberta New Democratic Party||Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Wildrose Alliance align=center| Wildrose Alliance Party|
MLAs not running again
- November 19, 2005 Paul Hinman, Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA is elected leader of the Alberta Alliance Party replacing Randy Thorsteinson at a leadership convention in Red Deer, Alberta.
- March 29, 2006 Premier Ralph Klein is given a 55% leadership review, he later announced his retirement for the fall of 2006.
- September 20, 2006 Premier Ralph Klein gives notice to the Progressive Conservatives, announces he will leave when a new leader is picked.
- November 23, 2006 Dan Backs is removed from the Liberal caucus and is forced to sit as an Independent
- December 15, 2006 Ed Stelmach replaces Ralph Klein as premier.
- January 15, 2007 Former Premier Ralph Klein and former Deputy Premier Shirley McClellan resign their legislature seats.
- June 12, 2007 By-elections are held in the seats vacated on January 15. While Jack Hayden easily holds the Drumheller-Stettler riding for the Progressive Conservatives, Craig Cheffins takes Premier Klein's old seat, Calgary Elbow, for the Liberals.
- November 3, 2007 Len Skowronski is elected Leader of Social Credit replacing Lavern Ahlstrom
- December 3, 2007 Gary Mar resigns his seat of Calgary Mackay after he was appointed as Alberta's representative to Washington, D.C..
- January 19, 2008 The Wildrose Party of Alberta and the Alberta Alliance Party merge to form the Wildrose Alliance Party of Alberta.
- February 4, 2008 The writ is dropped.
- February 21, 2008 Stelmach, Taft, Mason, and Hinman square off in a leaders' debate.
- March 3, 2008, 8:22 p.m.: CTV Calgary declares a PC majority barely twenty minutes after the polls close. A CTV reporter asks Ed Stelmach about it, but the Premier has no real answer.
- 8:29 p.m.: Less than half an hour after the polls close, and less than 25 minutes after the first polling station reports, CBC News declares a PC majority; Ed Stelmach begins a brief speech thanking party workers in Calgary while the CBC anchor is making the declaration.
- 9:45 p.m.: Kevin Taft concedes victory. Despite the poor result, he announces his intention to remain party leader.
- 10:36 p.m.: Ed Stelmach formally claims victory in Edmonton.
Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association/row
Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association/row|
Names in bold indicate party leaders and cabinet ministers. 
Western and Central Alberta
East Central Alberta
|Alberta PC Association||Liberal||NDP||Wildrose Alliance||Green||Other|
|Edmonton Beverly Clareview||Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association|||Tony Vandermeer
|Robin Porteous (SC)
|Edmonton Centre||Bill Donahue
|Margaret Saunter (AP)
|Edmonton-Glenora||Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association|||Heather Klimchuk
|Elden Van Hauwaert
|Edmonton Gold Bar||David Dorward
|Edmonton Highlands-Norwood||Andrew Beniuk
|Edmonton Mill Creek||Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association|||Gene Zwozdesky
|Naomi Rankin (Com)
|Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association|||Gene Zwozdesky|
|Edmonton-Mill Woods||Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association|||Carl Benito
|Edmonton Riverview||Wendy Andrews
|Kyle Van Hauwaert
|Edmonton Rutherford||Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Alberta PC Association|||Fred Horne
|Edmonton Strathcona||T.J. Keil
Suburban Edmonton and environs
- "Albertans to vote March 3". CBC News. February 4, 2008.
- Erickson, Edwin (2006-10-03). "Candidate Update". Green Party of Alberta. Retrieved November 3, 2006.[dead link]
- Early 07' Vote predicted, Calgary Sun June 11, 2006
- Raj Pannu not running again, and predicts spring 2007 vote CBC news June 14, 2006
- Alberta Votes 2008: Promise tracker, cbc.ca, accessed February 22, 2008