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Alberta Election 2023

It has been a tumultuous six years in Alberta politics, capped by seven even more tumultuous months leading up to the 2023 Alberta election. 

The rise of Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party ushered in a fire hose of policy and regulatory changes in the province as the former federal cabinet minister worked feverishly to make his stamp on Alberta. 

In the end, a pandemic and the right flank of his newly united party outdid him and he was replaced by an unpredictable new leader in Danielle Smith

She is a polarizing figure in a polarized election. 

2023 Alberta election: the date and the details


The 2023 Alberta election will take place on May 29. By all accounts, the race is too close to call, with the NDP and UCP in a near dead heat across the province. A more nuanced look of Alberta election polls show the NDP dominating Edmonton and the UCP painting rural regions blue. The real fight, according to pollsters, will be in Calgary. 

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We’re covering energy on the Prairies

The 2019 election, coming after years of an economic downturn, was heavily focused on the three UCP priorities: jobs, the economy and pipelines. But soaring oil prices and a combative four years of UCP rule has changed the political mood. Healthcare and cost of living are top of mind, though the economy and oil and gas are never far behind. While the UCP has promised a tax cut and referendums on any future tax increases, the Alberta NDP have focused on job creation, health and investments. 

Alberta NDP and UCP make oil pitches


The UCP has signalled it wants to focus on securing a future for oil and gas and fighting environmental regulations it sees getting in the way, even floating the idea of paying oil and gas producers to clean up after themselves. The party’s recent climate plan was long on timelines and short on any details. In the meantime, it’s trying to paint the NDP and its leader, Rachel Notley, as environmentalists out to sabotage the patch in league with Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals and bring economic ruin to Alberta — with the war over “the just transition” just the beginning.

The Alberta NDP, themselves big boosters of the oil patch, are proposing tax breaks and more work on preparing for a changing economy — while championing the continued growth of clean energy in Alberta, but have firmly planted themselves in the centre as they try to paint the UCP as a party of extremists, taken over by the hard-right faction within the party. 

Smith, gaffe-prone and largely viewed as a drag on the UCP’s fortunes, largely avoided media in the early days of the campaign and has tried to keep questions and answers short and controlled. 

Notley on the other hand, is working the proverbial room. 

How each of those strategies plays out in the 2023 Alberta election race will depend on the mood of voters following a polarizing pandemic, a surge in oil prices, inflation, questions about energy regulation and utility bills that have bit deep. 

To see where Smith and Notley stand on the key issues, read all about the Alberta election platforms.

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