Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley has managed to end the 44-year reign of the Progressive Conservatives and secure her party’s first ever election win, CTV projects.
Notley’s NDP will form the next government and Jim Prentice’s PCs will find themselves in opposition.
The question now is whether Notley can get 44 seats -- enough to form a majority government in the 87 legislature. We have live results here.
Watch LIVE NOW: CTV News special coverage of Alberta Election 2015
Notley’s victory is a major upset, considering her party held only four seats when the election was called on April 7. The New Democrats had never before won more than 16 ridings.
Jim Prentice’s PC Party, meanwhile, had 70 seats at dissolution and boasted 12 consecutive majority governments.
Both the Wildrose and Liberals had five seats before the campaign, and either party’s seats could theoretically help prop up a Notley-led minority government.
Pollsters correctly predicted the NDP win, the 2012 Alberta election when most forecast a Wildrose win but the PCs formed a majority government.
Contrasting economic tax plans
Prentice took over as premier from interim leader David Hancock in September. Hancock was installed after Alison Redford stepped down over a series of spending scandals, including a $45,000 taxpayer-funded trip Nelson Mandela's South Africa funeral.
The election was announced on April 7, a year ahead of what’s legally required, because Prentice said he wanted a mandate to pass his budget.
The PC budget would have increased some taxes and allow a $5-billion deficit in order to maintain spending schools and hospitals in an era of falling fossil fuel revenue. Royalties from oil and gas have long funded much of Alberta’s budget.
The Wildrose Party released a platform that promised no tax increases, and a return to balanced budgets by 2017, which would be achieved by reducing the number of government managers and other spending cuts.
The NDP, meanwhile, committed to tax hikes on the top 10 per cent of income earners, and corporations, in order to raise more money for health care and education. The party has also said it would re-examine fossil fuel royalties.
The Liberal Party released a platform that includes a reduction of personal income taxes for the first $50,000, and increases thereafter, to fund things like school construction, reduced post-secondary tuition fees and arts subsidies.
Progressive Conservative leader Jim Prentice, NDP leader Rachel Notley and Wildrose leader Brian Jean are shown during the final weekend of campaigning in this composite photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Alberta PC Party leader Jim Prentice casts his vote Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 5, 2015. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley, centre, is greeted by volunteers and supporters at a NDP campaign event in Edmonton on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
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