Alberta Votes

Alberta Election 2015: Wildrose floor-crossers punished in Alberta election

After a mass defection from the Wildrose party to the PCs, the remaining floor-crossers lost out in the Alberta election.

Voters turn their backs on candidates now under the PC banner

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith speak to the media after a caucus meeting in Edmonton, on Dec. 17, 2014. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

Albertans punished the Wildrose floor-crossers in Tuesday's election.

In Chestermere-Rocky View, floor-crosser Bruce McAllister lost to the Wildrose's Leela Aheer. Independent Jaime Lall, who made headlines recently after being rejected as a PC candidate, barely registered with under five per cent of the vote. 

In Calgary-Shaw, where Jeff Wilson was running under the PC banner, Graham Sucha of the NDP came out on top. It was a similar story in Medicine Hat, where the NDP's Bob Wanner beat out Val Olson from the Wildrose and Blake Pederson of the PCs.

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake went to the Wildrose, where Kerry Towle was trying to make a comeback as a PC, while in Little Bow, David Schneider defeated floor-crosser Ian Donovan. 

The rest of the ridings once represented by Wildrose floor-crossers are all set to return to the party in a sharp rebuke of the orchestrated crossing. 

The defections

When Ian Donovan and Kerry Towle crossed the floor from the Wildrose to the PCs in November, few could have predicted it was the first trickle of what would become a flood. In December, nine more Wildrose MLAs followed, including leader Danielle Smith.

Since then, all but five have either bowed out of politics or lost their PC nomination races.

Smith lost out to Okotoks town councillor Carrie Fischer, effectively ending a political career that saw her lead the Wildrose from a fringe right-wing party to a real contender.

Under Smith, the party was expected to end the PC dynasty in 2012, but her inability, or unwillingness, to silence more extreme elements within the Wildrose fold resulted in a rush to the PC party in the dying days of the election, and another majority for the ruling party.

Smith's defection to the PCs, and the praise she heaped on Jim Prentice, shocked many, including those left behind in her former party.

Rod Fox lost his nomination battle to Peter Dewit in Lacombe-Ponoka and Gary Bikman was edged out by Brian Brewin in Cardston-Taber-Warner.


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