List of Alberta general elections
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, but the Lieutenant Governor is able to call one at any time. 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.
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. In 2019 the newly formed United Conservative Party formed the government, effectively turning the direction of Alberta back into Conservative hands. As noted above, the NDP has been Alberta’s only one term government.
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.
|Year||Seats||Winner||Legislature||United Conservative Party||Progressive Conservative[A]||Liberal||NDP[B]||Social Credit||United Farmers||Dominion Labor||Ind.||Other parties||Other parties||Voter turnout|
|1917||58||Liberal||4th||19||34||2||3||1 Labor Representation 2 Alberta Non-Partisan League|
|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)|
|2015||87||NDP||29th||10||1||54||22||Wildrose (21), Alberta Party (1)||58.4%|
|Elections||Edmonton||Calgary||Medicine Hat||Rest of Alberta|
|1905||First past the post|
|1909||Double-member plurality-at-large||First past the post|
|1913||Double-member||First past the post|
|1917||First past the post|
|1921||Five-member plurality-at-large||Double-member||First past the post|
|1926–1955||Multiple-member single transferable vote||Single-member instant-runoff voting|
|1959–present||First past the post|
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 instant-runoff voting (IRV) in the rural constituencies in 1926. Edmonton and Calgary were also converted to single transferable vote (STV) districts, where exhaustive vote transfers resulted in roughly proportional results.
These parallel systems, STV in the cities and IRV 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.
- "Legislative Assembly Act". Queen's Printer. 1983. Section 3(1). Retrieved March 17, 2011.
- Elections Alberta (2008). "Common Questions". Elections Alberta. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- 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"
- 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.
- Elections Alberta (2008). "General Election Reports (1997–2008)". Archived from the original on May 18, 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Election Alberta (July 28, 2008). 2008 General Report (PDF). p. 158. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
- 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.
- "The PC dynasty falls: Understanding Alberta's history of one-party rule". Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- Barnes, André; Lithwick, Dara; Virgint, Erin (January 11, 2016). "Electoral Systems and Electoral Reform in Canada and Elsewhere: An Overview". Library of Parliament. Ottawa. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.