The mood was disappointing, sombre, yet hopeful, at Hudsons Canada’s pub in downtown Red Deer, where some of the Alberta Party candidates gathered for election night.
“I think we would’ve like to see some seats for the Alberta Party,” said Paul Hardy, Alberta Party candidate for Red Deer-North.
According to unofficial results, the party lost the three ridings it held before Albertans hit the polls Tuesday.
He added “a lot of people voted for the Alberta Party across the province, so maybe in four years, we’ll be an alternative that will win a number of seats.”
Hardy took 13.3 per cent of the votes at 2,688 (87 polls reporting out of 89), according to the unofficial results, ranking third in the local riding, behind the NDP at 4,665.
The Red Deer doctor said the campaign went well, even though it stressed him out at times.
Hardy said the party had 87 candidates across the province in this election – a first for the party. He pointed the party’s membership has also grown.
Ryan McDougall, who ran for the Alberta Party in Red Deer-South, echoed Hardy’s words.
The Red Deerian said the party has built a brand for itself and therefore saw an increase in votes. The candidate won 12.6 per cent, or 2,873 votes (87 out of 90 polls reporting), behind the NDP at 5,925.
She said she is disappointed to see the party going from three seats to zero seats provincially, according to the unofficial results.
“It’s really sad we’ve gone to such a polarized political landscape with these two separate parties – so American style. I think this is a result based out of fear entirely, and that’s unfortunate,” McDougall said.
Teah-Jay Cartwright, Freedom Conservative Party candidate for Red Deer-South, said the unofficial results this election, as well as the last election, have been reactionary, instead of proactive.
The candidate won 246 votes, or 1.1 per cent (87 out of 90 polls reporting) in the local riding. It was his first time with a relatively new party, so the Red Deerian didn’t expect a win, he said Tuesday night.
“People have clearly opted to vote any way possible to ensure NDP does not remain in power,” Cartwright said.
Lori Curran, the Green Party of Alberta candidate for Red Deer-South, said she made a last-minute decision to run and did not go door knocking during her entire campaign.
But the candidate attended five forums. Based on that, Curran was pleased to see 224 votes, or one per cent in the local riding (87 out of 90 polls reporting).
Michael Neufeld, Alberta Independence Party candidate for Red Deer-North, won 1.1 per cent of the votes in the local riding, or 230 votes (87 out of 89 polls reporting). Based on his door knocking experience, Neufeld expected the UCP to win.
“There’s a lot of anti-NDP sentiment out there.”
Matt Chapin, Freedom Conservative Party candidate for Red Deer-North, also expected UCP to win. Chapin grabbed 352 votes or 1.7 per cent (87 out of 89 polls reporting).