1993 Alberta general election
The 1993 Alberta general election was the twenty-third general election for the Province of Alberta, Canada. It was held on June 15, 1993, to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. It is notable because it was seen by some as a contest between the former mayors of Calgary and Edmonton, Ralph Klein and Laurence Decore, respectively. Before eventually being defeated in 2015, it remained the closest the Progressive Conservatives had come to losing since coming to power in 1971.
83 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
42 seats needed for a majority
In 1992, the Liberal Party was led by Laurence Decore, a former mayor of Edmonton. Despite being the smallest of the three parties in the legislature, the Liberals made major gains by shifting to the political right and criticizing the Conservatives' fiscal responsibility, the province's rapidly rising debt, and the government's involvement in the private sector which resulted in some companies defaulting on government loans.
In September 1992, Don Getty resigned as provincial premier and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, after polls showed that he would not win re-election. The party membership elected Environment Minister and former Calgary mayor Ralph Klein to succeed Getty. Klein campaigned for the leadership in part by making arguments similar to Decore's. He favoured a near-immediate balancing of the provincial budget and rapid debt repayment thereafter, and declared his government "out of the business of business". By the time Klein dropped the writs, his party had regained the lead on polls.
The election was fought on a new series of electoral boundaries based on the census of 1991, drawn by a committee composed only of Progressive Conservative MLAs led by Bob Bogle, with no input from opposition parties. The new electoral map drew criticism from the Alberta Court of Appeal in 1994 because the committee gave no justification for creating four districts well below average population, one of which was Bogle's own riding of Taber-Warner.
During the general election campaign, Klein promoted the significant changes that he had made during his time of Premier, distancing the Conservatives from Getty's past administration. Decore, facing a Premier with whom he agreed on many issues, argued that the Progressive Conservative party had no moral authority left on the issues on which Klein was campaigning.
There were several televised debates, however viewership was low since it coincided with the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals.
Klein's efforts were seen as successful in reinvigorating the Conservatives from certain defeat just under a year earlier. Ending up, they retained a solid majority in the legislature for its seventh consecutive term in government. The Conservatives actually managed to increase their share of the popular vote marginally, although they lost eight seats in the legislature since the vote was not as evenly split as it had been four years ago. Notably, the PC's were shut out of Edmonton for the first time since 1963, but managed to make gains in Klein's hometown of Calgary where they won all but two seats.
The Liberals capitalized on the stagnant PC vote and the collapse of the New Democratic Party vote from 26% to 11%. As opposition to the PC government coalesced around Decore and the Liberals, they won almost 40% of the popular vote and 32 seats in the legislature, including every seat in Edmonton. They formed what still stands as the largest opposition caucus in Alberta history with the exception of 1917, when the government majority was smaller but there were far fewer seats in the legislature. To the surprise of many, Decore stepped down as Liberal leader not long after the election, supposedly being pressured to resign by party insiders who felt that he had missed the party's best chance in over 70 years to form government.
Ray Martin's New Democrats, previously the official opposition, were shut out of the legislature altogether for the first time since 1967. All of their seats in Edmonton—including Martin's--were lost to the Liberals, due to the popularity of Decore there. Martin suggested that tactical voting was to blame as well, as the anti-PC vote consolidated around the Liberals.
Overall voter turnout was 60.21%.
51 / 83 (61%)
32 / 83 (39%)
|Party||Party leader||candidates||Seats||Popular vote|
|1989||Elected||% Change||#||%||% Change|
|Progressive Conservative||Ralph Klein||83||59||51||-13.6%||439,981||44.49%||+0.20%|
|New Democrats||Ray Martin||83||16||-||-100%||108,883||11.01%||-15.28%|
|Social Credit||Randy Thorsteinson||39||-||-||-||23,885||2.41%||+1.94%|
|Natural Law||Maury Shapka||45||*||-||*||5,017||0.51%||*|
|Confederation of Regions||Ray Young||12||*||-||*||3,556||0.36%||*|
|Source: Elections Alberta|
* Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.
x – less than 0.005% of the popular vote
For complete electoral history, see individual districts
- 1 Pat Black later changed her last name to Nelson.
- Stinson, Douglas (July 1, 1999). "Knowing Where to Draw the Line - Alberta Views - The Magazine for Engaged Citizens". albertaviews.ca. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
- "Alberta Campaigns Since 1935". CBC News.
- Election Alberta (July 28, 2008). 2008 General Report (PDF). p. 158. Retrieved April 29, 2011.