Buckle up, Alberta. It’s going to get bumpy.
The results of the United Conservative Party leadership review will be released tomorrow.
The fate of Premier Jason Kenney hangs in the balance.
Kenney says he’s confident he will win. He says 50%+1 support is enough to stay on as leader.
His opponents are confident he will lose. They’ve already planted seeds of doubt in the results.
A recent survey shows the majority of Albertans think Kenney should lose the review.
Only a slim majority trust the leadership review process.
One UCP constituency president says he won’t accept a Kenney win.
“We will not believe that result. We will not accept it, but we won’t even believe it, because our own polling here within our constituency is 72 per cent against Premier Kenney,” Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills president Rob Smith told CTV.
There’s a whole cabal of UCP MLAs who probably share Smith’s cynicism.
If Kenney wins he’ll have to decide the fate of his biggest critics in his own party.
What happens to Brian Jean? Leela Aheer? Angela Pitt? Jason Stephan? Peter Guthrie?
Cast them out and they’ll form another conservative party.
And then the UCP might as well drop the U.
So there’s the problem. Even if Kenney wins he still loses.
It’s a win-lose or lose-lose scenario.
It’s going to be a wild ride.
The UCP leadership review is probably going to take up most of the political oxygen in Alberta over the next few days, so I just wanted to note a few candidate nomination developments:
- Former federal Liberal candidate and provincial Liberal leadership candidate Kerry Cundal is running for the Alberta Party nomination in Calgary-Elbow. She ran for the Alberta Liberal Party leadership in 2017 and joined the Alberta Party shortly afterward. A nomination meeting is scheduled for May 28, 2022.
- Former cabinet minister David Eggen will be acclaimed as the Alberta NDP candidate in Edmonton-North West on May 18. Eggen is the second longest serving MLA currently in the Legislature, having represented Edmonton-Calder from 2004 to 2008 and 2012 to 2019, and Edmonton-North West from 2019 to the present.
The NDP now have 23 candidates nominated in 87 ridings. The UCP have nominated 21 candidates.
And hey, sign up for the Daveberta Substack!