Brian Jean is back.
The former Wildrose Party leader will be returning to the Alberta Legislature after winning a landslide victory in today’s by-election in Fort McMuray-Lac La Biche.
He’s a UCP MLA-elect and he’s one of the biggest thorns in Premier Jason Kenney’s side.
Jean beat Kenney’s favoured candidate in the UCP nomination contest and the former MLA and MP used the by-election as a platform to campaign hard against Kenney.
He has been openly organizing against Kenney ahead of the April 9 leadership review in Red Deer.
Now he’s the newest member of Kenney’s UCP Caucus.
What I would do to be a fly on the wall when Jean’s strolls into the UCP Caucus Office in Edmonton tomorrow morning.
He’s not alone.
UCP MLAs Leela Aheer, Dave Hanson and Angela Pitt have openly spoken out against Kenney. So have Independent MLAs Drew Barnes and Todd Loewen.
It was a big win for Jean tonight. But that’s about it.
The by-election results are disappointing for the NDP, who have been polling ahead of the UCP province-wide, and whose candidate, Ariana Mancini, campaigned hard.
But in this by-election, Fort McMurray’s favourite son was both the UCP candidate and the most vocal anti-Kenney candidate, which is a bizarre situation for the opposition NDP to be in.
Paul Hinman and his separatist Wildrose Independence Party placed a distant third. The other five candidates had distant finishes.
Now with the by-election over, all the players are going to be focused on April 9 and Kenney’s leadership review.
This is going to be something to watch.
With 61/61 polls reporting, here are the unofficial results of the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche by-election:
- Brian Jean, UCP 3,714 (63.6%)
- Ariana Mancini, NDP 1,801 (18.5%)
- Paul Hinman, WRIP 628 (10.8%)
- Abdulhakim Hussein, Liberal 211 (3.6%)
- Michelle Landsiedel, Alberta Party 98 (1.7%)
- Brian Deheer, Independent 56 (1.0%)
- Marilyn Burns, Alberta Advantage 25 (0.4%)
- Steven Mellott, Independence Party 24 (0.4%)