Alberta Progressive Conservative Alison Redford celebrates becoming leader of the party and the new premier following the second ballot in the party's leadership race in Edmonton

Alberta Progressive Conservative Alison Redford celebrates becoming leader of the party and the new premier following the second ballot in the party's leadership race in Edmonton

Redford hints at April or May for next Alberta election

Alberta politicians go back to work for the spring legislature sitting on Feb. 7, but Premier Alison Redford says don’t expect an election campaign to start soon afterward.

EDMONTON — Alberta politicians go back to work for the spring legislature sitting on Feb. 7, but Premier Alison Redford says don’t expect an election campaign to start soon afterward.

Redford says she wants to pass the next budget before dropping the writ to begin a 28-day campaign.

By law, polling day must be held sometime in March, April or May, meaning Redford could drop the writ as early as Feb. 2.

She has always indicated a budget would be introduced before an election, but it’s the first time she’s said she wants it passed before a campaign.

Budget approval usually involves six weeks of debate, which means there wouldn’t be a vote until April at the earliest.

Redford will be seeking her first mandate as premier since winning the Tory leadership last fall and replacing Ed Stelmach.