The governing Progressive Conservative Party has captured the vote in all four byelections held in Alberta Monday.
Premier Jim Prentice unofficially won the race for the Calgary-Foothills seat with just under 6,900 votes. The former federal cabinet minister, who won the PC leadership on Sept. 6, will now have a seat in the legislature.
The closest competitor was Wildrose Party candidate Kathy MacDonald with more than 3,500 votes.
Prentice said he was humbled tonight by his party’s victories.
He says under his leadership he’ll never take Albertans for granted.
Prentice says he knocked on over 5,000 doors during his campaign.
All four ridings elected a Progressive Conservative MLA in the 2012 election.
The PC Party currently holds 57 of 87 seats in the legislature.
Wildrose admits defeat
Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith conceded the party’s defeat Monday night.
“Tonight didn’t turn out as we hoped,” Smith said, adding it looks as if Albertans decided to give the PC Party one last chance.
She says Albertans have put Prentice on “probation.”
Smith wrapped up the concession speech by saying she still thinks the party is on an upswing.
Stephen Mandel wins Edmonton-Whitemud
PC candidate Stephen Mandel, who has been sitting as the province’s unelected health minister, told supporters “we are now kosher” after winning his race in Edmonton-Whitemud.
Mandel started with an early lead that widened as the race went on. He took 42 per cent of final vote, beating second-place NDP candidate Bob Turner by almost 3,000 votes.
Mandel was the favourite to win the riding, which was held by former Premier Dave Hancock for 17 years before he resigned earlier this year.
Gordon Dirks takes Calgary-Elbow
Alberta Education Minister Gordon Dirks has won a seat in the legislature.
“This was a great day for the PC Party in Alberta,” Dirks said to supporters in his victory speech.
Former Premier Alison Redford won the riding in the 2008 and 2012 general elections before resigning earlier this year.
Mike Ellis grabs Calgary-West
Calgary police Sgt. Mike Ellis has unofficially won in Calgary-West with 4,843 votes. He has a narrow lead over Wildrose candidate Sheila Taylor, who came in at 4,528 votes.
Taylor, who resigned her role as trustee for the Calgary Board of Education to run in the byelection, said she did not regret the decision to run and plans to focus on spending time with her family.
The riding has belonged to the Progressive Conservative Party since 1967 aside from a four-year period beginning in 1993 when the Liberals held the seat.