Alberta's right begins voting for new leader Thursday

Voting for the new leader of the United Conservative Party starts at 9 a.m. Thursday.

United Conservative Party leader will be announced Saturday afternoon

Jason Kenney, Doug Schweitzer, and Brian Jean ran for the UCP leadership in 2017 (CBC)

Voting for the new leader of the United Conservative Party starts at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Three candidates are vying for leadership of the newly-minted party which was created by the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta  and the Wildrose Party.

Brian Jean, Jason Kenney and Doug Schweitzer all say they have the right stuff to defeat Rachel Notley in the next provincial election. A fourth candidate, Jeff Callaway, dropped out of the race earlier this month.

Members will rank choices

Party members who have registered to vote can enter their ballot by phone or on-line between 9 a.m. Thursday and 5 p.m. Saturday.

Voters must rank the candidates on their ballot.

If no candidate receives more than half the vote on the first ballot, the third place candidate drops out.

The second preference choices for ballots for that third candidate will then be counted and applied to the remaining two candidates.

"Mathematically, the probability is that there will be a winner after that," said Janice Harrington, the party's executive director.

What happens in a tie vote

But if there is a tie, the vote of the leadership committee chair is held in reserve for a tie-breaker.

Harrington said she expects the decision to be announced at a live event in Calgary between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. Saturday.

The announcement will also be livestreamed from the UCP website and announced on the party's Facebook page.


Nola Keeler is an award-winning journalist who has worked with CBC in Whitehorse, Yukon and Edmonton since 2000. She has worked as a host, reporter, news reader and producer for CBC. Send story ideas to nola.keeler@cbc.ca.