The PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION OF ALBERTA (often referred
to colloquially as PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF ALBERTA) was a
provincial centre-right party in the Canadian province of
In July 2017, the party membership of the PC and the Wildrose Party voted to approve a merger to become the United Conservative Party .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Origins and early years * 1.2 On the political sidelines * 1.3 The party in the 1940s and 1950s * 1.4 The party under Peter Lougheed and Don Getty * 1.5 The party under Klein and Stelmach * 1.6 The party under Redford * 1.7 Interim leadership under Hancock and defeat under Prentice * 1.8 The party under Kenney and merger
* 2 Party leaders * 3 Electoral results * 4 See also * 5 References
During the 1905 election, the Conservatives were led by future Canadian Prime Minister R. B. Bennett
ORIGINS AND EARLY YEARS
The party was created from the Northwest Territories
Liberal-Conservative Party that existed from 1898 to 1905. Unlike its
predecessor party, who formed government during its entire existence,
ON THE POLITICAL SIDELINES
In the 1913 election , the Tories achieved a breakthrough, winning 18
seats and 45% of the vote. Despite this result, and an even better
result in the 1917 election , they were still unable to beat the
Liberals. The Tories then split into 'traditional' and 'radical'
camps. The party collapsed, and was unable to run a full slate of
candidates in the 1921 election . Only one Conservative Member of the
Legislative Assembly (MLA) was returned to the Legislative Assembly in
this election, in which the new United Farmers of
For the next 45 years, the Tories were unable to elect more than a half dozen MLAs. The party was marginalized after the UFA was able to negotiate the province's control of its resources from Ottawa, denying the Tories their major policy plank.
In 1935, the UFA collapsed. The Social Credit Party of
THE PARTY IN THE 1940S AND 1950S
In the late 1930s, the Conservatives and Liberals formed a united front in an attempt to fight Social Credit and, as a result, no Conservative candidates ran in the 1940 election , the 1944 election , or the 1948 election . Supporters of both parties ran instead as independents.
The failure of the coalition strategy led to the reemergence of separate Liberal and Conservative parties in the early 1950s. The Tories only nominated five candidates in the 1952 election , only one of whom won election. The Conservatives were led in the general election of 1959 by William J.Cameron Kirby , Member of the Legislature for Red Deer from 1954 to 1959.
The Tories became Progressive Conservatives in 1959 in order to conform with the name of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada . The party continued to be unable to improve their fortunes, and by 1963 was swept out of the legislature altogether.
THE PARTY UNDER PETER LOUGHEED AND DON GETTY
In March 1965,
Peter Lougheed became leader of the party, and began
transforming it into a political force by combining fiscal
conservatism with a modernist, urban outlook. This approach was in
stark contrast to the parochialism and rural agrarianism of Social
Credit. In particular, the party started gaining support in Calgary
In 1967 , the Tories returned to the legislature, electing six MLAs . Lougheed became Leader of the Opposition .
In 1968, Manning retired after 25 years, and was replaced by Harry
Strom . After having spent nearly all of its 33-year history as the
governing party, Social Credit had grown tired and complacent.
Albertans, particularly those associated with the booming oil
industry, began to turn to the young and dynamic Lougheed Tories, who
were very active for an opposition in a
Westminster system . Over the
next four years, Lougheed saw his small caucus grow to 10 members as a
result of two by-election wins—one of which was Manning's old
In the 1971 election , the Progressive Conservatives campaigned on a
simple theme--NOW!--symbolizing their goal of increasing Alberta's
clout in Canada. On August 30, the Tories won power for the first time
in Alberta's history. They finished only four percentage points ahead
of Social Credit. However, they swept
In power, the Progressive Conservatives fought a long battle with the
federal government over control of Alberta's natural resources
(particularly oil). The oil industry provided the
Lougheed retired in 1985, and Don Getty , a former longtime cabinet minister under Lougheed, came out of retirement to succeed him. Getty was unable to match Lougheed's dominance in the provincial legislature, but he enjoyed large majorities nevertheless.
THE PARTY UNDER KLEIN AND STELMACH
Ralph Klein : PC Leader and Premier, 1992–2006 Ed Stelmach : PC Leader and Premier, 2006–2011 Logo until 2012
While the popularity of the Tories sagged somewhat under Don Getty,
it was revived under
Ralph Klein , who succeeded Getty as premier in
1992. Klein moved the party sharply to the right, and under his watch
The party's rightward turn came at the same time that the Reform Party of Canada replaced the federal Tories as the dominant party in Alberta's federal politics. Reform and its successor, the Canadian Alliance , dominated the province's federal politics until 2003, when it merged with the federal Tories to become the Conservative Party of Canada . The Alliance's first leader, Stockwell Day , was a cabinet minister under Klein.
The party was reduced to 51 seats in the 1993 election , but gained stronger majorities in 1997 and 2001 .
It was viewed as unlikely that a centrist or left-leaning opposition
party (the Liberals and NDP, respectively) would be in a serious
position to challenge the Conservatives for power in the 2004 general
election . The Liberals, New Democrats, and a new right-wing party,
The Alliance did not seriously challenge the Tories' majority, but it was competitive in several rural districts that could formerly have been described as Tory bastions. For instance, the one seat taken by the Alliance, Cardston-Taber-Warner , in the southwest, had been an ultra-safe Tory seat for 30 years. This has led many pundits to conclude that although the Alliance gained less than ten percent of the popular vote in 2004, it was potentially in a position to launch a more serious challenge to the Tories in the future.
On April 4, 2006, after receiving a 55% vote of support from his
party, Klein issued a press release expressing his intent to retire.
A number of candidates stepped forward as possible replacements for a
leadership election in late 2006. Klein officially resigned on
September 20, 2006. The first round of voting on November 25
eliminated all but three candidates -
Jim Dinning ,
Ted Morton and Ed
Stelmach . None received the required 50% of the vote, so a second
round was held on December 2. In the second round, Stelmach was
declared the winner. He assumed the premiership on December 14. In
mid-2007, the Tories passed the Socreds as the longest-serving
Stelmach would go on to stun pundits and even his own supporters when he led the Tories to an increased majority in the 2008 general election , winning 72 of 83 seats. Notably, they won 13 in Edmonton, their highest total in the capital since 1982. The Tories continued to lose ground in Calgary, winning 18 seats to the Liberals' five. The Liberals were nonetheless reduced to nine seats and the NDP two, and with the Tories re-taking Cardston-Taber-Warner from the renamed Wildrose Alliance in a close race.
THE PARTY UNDER REDFORD
Main article: Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta leadership election, 2011 Alison Redford campaigning during the 2012 provincial election
On January 25, 2011, Stelmach announced his intention to step down as party leader and Premier prior to the next provincial election as a result of a dispute with his finance minister, Ted Morton , over the provincial budget. Stelmach formally resigned in September 2011. Justice Minister Alison Redford won the following leadership contest on October 2, 2011, and was sworn in as Premier on October 7, 2011, becoming Alberta's first female Premier.
Most polls from 2011 onward showed the PCs losing badly to the
Wildrose. However, Redford defied expectations by leading the PCs to a
12th consecutive majority government in the 2012 provincial election.
The PCs won 61 seats, a loss of only five. On June 18, 2013, the
With her approval rating at 18% and growing caucus discontent, including the defection of two MLAs, Redford announced on March 19, 2014 that she was resigning as Premier effective March 23, 2014. After her departure, it emerged that Redford had used provincial resources for personal and partisan purposes.
INTERIM LEADERSHIP UNDER HANCOCK AND DEFEAT UNDER PRENTICE
"Under Premier Prentice’s strong leadership, I believe we can
work together to lead
Dave Hancock took over as interim leader and premier
pending a leadership convention. On September 6, 2014, former federal
Conservative cabinet minister
On October 27, 2014 the PCs swept four byelections, electing Prentice
and three other PC candidates.
On November 24, 2014 Kerry Towle ( Innisfail-Sylvan Lake ), and Ian Donovan ( Little Bow ), crossed the floor to join the PC Party's caucus giving the turmoil within the Wildrose Party, uncertainty about official opposition Wildrose Party Danielle Smith 's leadership and confidence in Prentice as reasons for their move. They were followed on December 17, 2014, by Smith and eight other Wildrose members — deputy leader Rob Anderson , Gary Bikman , Rod Fox , Jason Hale , Bruce McAllister , Blake Pedersen , Bruce Rowe and Jeff Wilson — also joining the Progressive Conservative caucus. Smith said that extensive talks with Prentice revealed that she and Prentice had much common ground, and therefore it made no sense for her to continue in opposition. The defections were termed "an unprecedented move in Canadian political history" and reduced the Wildrose Party to just 5 seats, tied with the Liberal Party .
Prentice's efforts were not enough to save the PCs from being heavily
defeated at the May 5, 2015 provincial election . The
Ric McIver was chosen interim leader by caucus on May 11, 2015.
THE PARTY UNDER KENNEY AND MERGER
Main article: Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta leadership election, 2017
The 2017 leadership election was held on March 18, 2017 and resulted in Jason Kenney , formerly the Conservative federal MP for Calgary Midnapore , becoming leader of the party on the first ballot. Kenney campaigned on a pledge to seek a merger with the Wildrose and form a unified centre-right party, similar to the Unite the Right movement that formed the federal Conservative Party.
On May 18, 2017, Kenney and Wildrose leader Brian Jean announced that their two parties had come to a merger agreement pending the outcome of votes that will be held by the membership of both parties on July 22, 2017. If the merge proposal is approved by a margin of 50%+1 of Progressive Conservative members and 75% of Wildrose members, the parties will begin the process of merging into the United Conservative Party , with a leadership election to occur on October 28, 2017 and a founding convention to be held in 2018. On July 22nd, 2017 Progressive Conservative and the Wildrose members voted, in both cases with 95% of voting members in favour, to found the United Conservative party.
Of the 42,617 Wildrose members eligible to vote on July 22, 2017, there was a 57 per cent turnout with 23,466 voters (95%) in favour of the agreement and 1,132 (5%) against, clearing the 75% threshold required by the party's constitution. The Progressive Conservative membership also approved the agreement by a margin of 95% to 5%. With a turnout of 55% of eligible members, 25,692 PC members voted yes and 1,344 voted no with 24 spoiled ballots; the party's constitution required a simple majority of its membership to approve the merger.
With the exception of Richard Starke , the entire PC caucus joined the new UCP caucus on July 24, 2017, with Starke continuing as the lone PC MLA as long as he is permitted to keep that designation.
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES LIBERAL-CONSERVATIVE PARTY
* Frederick Haultain (1897–1905)
CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF ALBERTA
* Richard (R.B.) Bennett (1905 election ) * Albert Robertson (1905–1909) * Richard (R.B.) Bennett (1909–1910) * Edward Michener (1910–1917) * George Hoadley (1917–1920) * James Ramsey (1920–1921) * Alexander McGillivray (1925–1930) * David Milwyn Duggan (1930–1942) * John Percy Page (1952 , 1955 elections )
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION OF ALBERTA
Cam Kirby (1959 election )
Ernest Watkins interim (1959–1962)
Milt Harradence (1962–1964)
Peter Lougheed (1965–1985)
Don Getty (1985–1992)
Ralph Klein (1992–2006)
Ed Stelmach (2006–2011)
Alison Redford (2011–2014)
Dave Hancock interim (2014)
ELECTION LEADER VOTES % SEATS +/– POSITION GOVERNMENT
1905 R. B. Bennett 9,316 37.1 3 / 25 6 2nd Opposition
1909 Albert Robertson 15,848 31.7 2 / 41 2 2nd Opposition
1913 Edward Michener 43,737 45.1 17 / 56 11 2nd Opposition
1917 47,055 41.8 19 / 58 2 2nd Opposition
1921 Albert Ewing 32,734 11.0 1 / 61 17 4th Fourth party
1926 Alexander McGillivray 40,091 22.1 4 / 60 4 4th Fourth party
1930 David M. Duggan 27,954 14.8 6 / 63 2 3rd Third party
1935 19,358 6.4 2 / 63 2 3rd Third party
1940 None - - 0 / 57
1944 - - 0 / 60
1948 - - 0 / 57
1952 J. Percy Page 10,971 3.7 2 / 60 2 4th Fourth party
1955 34,757 9.2 3 / 61 1 3rd Third party
1959 Cam Kirby 98,730 23.9 1 / 65 2 2nd Opposition
1963 Milt Harradence 51,278 12.7 0 / 63 1 3rd Third party
1967 Peter Lougheed 129,544 26.0 6 / 65 6 2nd Opposition
1971 296,934 46.4 49 / 75 43 1st Majority
1975 369,764 62.7 69 / 75 20 1st Majority
1979 408,097 57.4 74 / 79 5 1st Majority
1982 588,485 62.3 75 / 79 1 1st Majority
1986 Don Getty 366,783 51.4 61 / 83 14 1st Majority
1989 367,244 44.3 59 / 83 2 1st Majority
1993 Ralph Klein 439,981 44.5 51 / 83 8 1st Majority
1997 483,914 51.2 63 / 83 12 1st Majority
2001 627,252 61.9 74 / 83 11 1st Majority
2004 417,092 46.8 62 / 83 12 1st Majority
2008 Ed Stelmach 501,063 52.7 72 / 83 10 1st Majority
2012 Alison Redford 567,312 43.97 61 / 87 11 1st Majority
* List of
* ^ Kleiss, Karen. "
* v * t * e
Progressive Conservative Association of
* Haultain (NWT ) ¤ Bennett * Robertson * Bennett * Michener * Hoadley * Ramsey * McGillivray * Duggan * Page * Kirby * Watkins * Harradence * Lougheed * Getty * Klein * Stelmach * Redford * Hancock * Prentice * McIver * Kenney
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