Tories hold on

It just goes to show you that the only poll that really counts is the one held on election day. We hear it time and again from politicians and Monday’s result proved that that statement is true.

In the weeks leading up to Monday’s provincial election, the Wildrose looked pretty solid and many were predicting they would at least force a minority government or perhaps even put an end to the Tories’ four decade rule in Alberta.

But, when the numbers started rolling in, it was clear Albertans weren’t ready for such a change. The Tories ultimately won a majority government and only lost a handful of seats.

It would have been nice to see the Tories grip on power be pulled back a little bit more. But Albertans have spoken.

The Wildrose did pull up in the ranks by ending up with 17 seats – enough to form the opposition, but a far cry from what many were expecting.

Even in her own riding, party leader Danielle Smith didn’t win by an overwhelming number of votes.

As for the Liberals and the NDP, Albertans continue to pretty much close the door on any advancements either party tries to make.

So how did we end up here?

Did the poorer than expected showing of Smith relate directly to controversial comments from some of her candidates? Is she just too right-wing for Albertans? Or were Albertans scared of change?

Even though Smith had high hopes for her party, she has fared well. Four years ago the Wildrose Party really didn’t garner any attention and since then Smith has continued to build the ranks and now they hold a considerable chunk of legislative seats.

For Premier Alison Redford she must be very relieved. She had a tough campaign from all sides. She was questioned and had to constantly fend off a number of accusations. Clearly her message resonated with voters in spite of disillusionment with politics as a whole thanks to things like the ‘do-nothing’ committee that got paid for years of doing nothing.

It will be interesting moving forward because not only do we have a conservative majority government, but we also have an even more conservative official opposition. The dynamic could be quite a fiery mix of views, opinions and arguments of the direction of this province. It could also strike up some fresh interest in provincial politics which has been the same old for too long.

We can only hope these two parties will play nice for the coming years.

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