|MLA for Olds-Didsbury|
|Preceded by||Robert Curtis Clark|
|Succeeded by||Stephen Stiles|
|Born||1945 (age 72–73)|
|Political party||Western Canada Concept|
Gordon Kesler's stunning victory in the February 1982 by-election for the Western Canada Concept received national media attention. Kesler was the first separatist politician elected in Canada outside of Quebec since the 1870s, although his activities were primarily related to opposing official bilingualism and the introduction of the metric system.
After the win, Kesler became leader of the party. He won the Olds-Didsbury electoral district defeating Stephen Stiles of the Progressive Conservatives and Lloyd Quantz of Social Credit and three other candidates.
During the 1982 general election, held only months later in November, Kesler lost his seat despite Western Canada Concept fielding a full slate. He had shifted districts to his home district of Highwood after promising to move to Olds-Didsbury if elected. The time he served was the second shortest between election and defeat in the legislature's history. Harry Alger from the Progressive Conservatives defeated him with a five thousand vote plurality.
In a 1983 letter to the editor of the Alberta Report, Doug Christie, founder of the Western Canada Concept, accused Gordon Kesler of betraying separatism. Kesler and his party had been striving to distance themselves from the controversial Christie.
|Alberta provincial by-election, February 17, 1982: Olds-Didsbury|
Upon the resignation of Robert Curtis Clark on November 30, 1981
|Western Canada Concept||Gordon Kesler||4,015||42.20||—|
|Social Credit||Lloyd Quantz||2,669||28.05||-42.11|
|Progressive Conservative||Stephen Stiles||2,396||25.18||-2.38|
|New Democratic||Myrna Jarboe||308||3.24||+1.57|
|Total valid votes||9,514||100.00||—|
|Rejected, spoiled, and declined||19||—||—|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||13,798||69.09||-4.29|
|Western Canada Concept gain from Social Credit||Swing||+42.16|
|Alberta general election, 1982: Highwood|
|Progressive Conservative||Harry Alger||7,811||70.08%||3.58%|
|Western Canada Concept||Gordon Kesler||2,006||18.00%||*|
|New Democratic||William McCutcheon||465||4.17%||0.51%|
|Alberta Reform Movement||Ronald Arkes||183||1.64%||*|
|Rejected, spoiled and declined||30|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||14,495||77.10%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||10.79%|
- "Olds-Didsbury by-election results". Elections Alberta. Archived from the original on 2009-06-07. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
- "Highwood Official Results 1982". Alberta Heritage. Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2008-03-19.