List of Alberta general elections

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Chart showing number of seats won by each party in each election
Number of seats won by major parties at each election

The Canadian province of Alberta holds elections to its unicameral legislative body, the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. The maximum period between general elections of the assembly is five years,[1][2] but the Lieutenant Governor is able to call one at any time.[3] However, the Premier has typically asked the Lieutenant Governor to call the election in the fourth or fifth year after the preceding election. The number of seats has increased over time, from 25 for the first election in 1905, to the current 87.

To date, no political party has returned to power in Alberta after being removed in a previous election. The province has been ruled by four "dynasties": the Liberal Party (1905–1921); the United Farmers of Alberta (1921–1935), the Social Credit Party (1935–1971), and the Progressive Conservative (PC) Association (1971–2015). No minority government has ever been elected. Thus, Alberta can be said to have continuously had a dominant-party system for its entire political history, though the dominant party has changed over time. In 2015, the NDP were elected to government for the first time in Alberta's history, ending the longest political dynasty in Canada.

Summary[edit]

The table below shows the total number of seats won by each political party in each election. Full details on any election are linked via the year of the election at the start of the row, and details for the legislature that followed the election are available at the legislature number.[4][5]

Year Seats Winner Legislature Progressive Conservative[A] Liberal NDP[B] Social Credit United Farmers Dominion Labor Ind. Other parties Other parties Voter turnout[6][7]
1905 25 Liberal 1st 3 22
1909 41 Liberal 2nd 2 36 2 1 Socialist
1913 56[C] Liberal 3rd 17 38
1917 58 Liberal 4th 19 34 2 3 1 Labor Representation 2 Alberta Non-Partisan League
1921 61 United Farmers 5th 15 38 4 4
1926 60 United Farmers 6th 4 7 43 5 1
1930 63 United Farmers 7th 6 11 39 4 3
1935 63 Social Credit 8th 2 5 56   81.8%
1940 57 Social Credit 9th 1 36 20 Independent Movement (19), Labour (1)
1944 60 Social Credit 10th 2 51 3 4 Independent Movement (3), Veterans' and Active Force (1)
1948 57 Social Credit 11th 2 2 51 2
1952 60 Social Credit 12th 2 3 1 53 1
1955 61 Social Credit 13th 3 15 2 37 3 1 Coalition
1959 65 Social Credit 14th 1 1 61 1 1 Coalition
1963 63 Social Credit 15th 2 60 1 Coalition
1967 65 Social Credit 16th 6 3 55 1
1971 75 PC 17th 49 1 25
1975 75 PC 18th 69 1 4 1   59.58%
1979 79 PC 19th 74 1 4   58.71%
1982 79 PC 20th 75 2 2   66.00%
1986 83 PC 21st 61 4 16 2 Representative 47.25%
1989 83 PC 22nd 59 8 16   53.60%
1993 83 PC 23rd 51 32   60.21%
1997 83 PC 24th 63 18 2   53.75%
2001 83 PC 25th 74 7 2   53.38%
2004 83 PC 26th 62 16 4 1 Alberta Alliance 45.12%
2008 83 PC 27th 72 9 2   40.59%
2012 87 PC 28th 61 5 4 17 Wildrose 56.96%
2015 87 NDP 29th 10 1 54 22 Wildrose (21), Alberta Party (1) 58.4%

Notes[edit]

A Known as the Conservative Party prior to 1959.[4]
B Known as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) prior to 1963.[4]
C In 1913, 55 people occupied 56 seats.[4]

Electoral system[edit]

Alberta has used a variety of electoral systems in its history, notably a combination of single transferable vote (STV) and alternative vote (AV) for nearly four decades.

Electoral system of Alberta
Area 1905 1909 1913 1917 1921 26 30 35 40 44 48 52 55 59 63 67 71 75 79 82 86 89 93 97 01 04 08 12 15
Edmonton FPTP Double-
member
Double FPTP Five-
member
Multiple-member
single transferable vote
First past the post
Calgary FPTP
Medicine Hat FPTP Double Single-member
alternative vote
Rest of Alberta FPTP

Alberta's first election was fought in 25 single-member first past the post districts, and like other Canadian jurisdictions at the time, introduced double-member constituencies in Edmonton and Calgary in 1909 to accommodate their population. These were both broken up into three single-member districts by 1917, as the overall number of districts increased rapidly.

The Liberal government introduced five-member block voting constituencies in Edmonton and Calgary in 1921, and briefly made Medicine Hat a double-member district. Because each voter in the cities was given five votes, the Liberal party was defeated despite winning a higher total number of votes than the United Farmers, who had much higher support in the rural single-member districts.

The UFA government, which had campaigned on electoral reform, introduced AV in the rural constituencies in 1926, with the unique feature of only two rounds: rather than redistribute votes from each last-place candidate in several counts, only the top two candidates from the first count would advance to the second count. Edmonton and Calgary were also converted to STV districts, where a complicated system of vote transfers resulted in roughly proportional results.

These parallel systems, STV in the cities and AV in the rest of the province, lasted until Ernest Manning's Social Credit government abolished both for the 1959 election, without public consultations or a referendum. This broke the urban constituencies into single-member districts and reintroduced first past the post across the province, which remains the system used in Alberta and throughout Canada.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Legislative Assembly Act". Queen's Printer. 1983. Section 3(1). Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  2. ^ Elections Alberta (2008). "Common Questions". Elections Alberta. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  3. ^ Office Consolidation (2000). "Election Act". Province of Alberta. Alberta Queen's Printer. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
    1.1.1.nn ""writ" means a writ of election issued by the Chief Electoral Officer pursuant to an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council."
    39.0 "Every election shall be commenced by the passing of an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council"
  4. ^ a b c d Elections Alberta (May 30, 2008). "Candidate Summary of Results (General Elections 1905–2004)". Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  5. ^ Elections Alberta (2008). "General Election Reports (1997–2008)". Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  6. ^ Election Alberta (July 28, 2008). 2008 General Report (PDF). p. 158. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  7. ^ Elections Alberta (November 25, 2007). "General Elections 1975-2004 (Overall Summary of Ballots Cast and % of Voter Turnout)". Archived from the original on August 15, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.