Alberta goes to the polls

Voters in Alberta will decide on their next premier today in a close election that’s being watched around the country.

Why it matters: The outcome of the vote will set the tone for the relationship between Alberta and Ottawa—and possibly in a way that will stoke conflict.

  • As Premier, United Conservative Party (UCP) leader Danielle Smith passed a “sovereignty act” that she claims would allow the province to refuse to enforce federal laws it deems unconstitutional.
  • While Smith has yet to use the law—and many legal experts believe it would be vulnerable to court challenges—a big win today could push her to be more aggressive in challenging Ottawa on areas of disagreement ranging from energy to resource development to gun laws.

Catch up: The latest polls show Smith’s United Conservative Party (UCP) with a small lead over Rachel Notley’s NDP. 

  • Polling aggregator 338Canada forecasts the UCP winning 51% of the vote and a majority of the seats in the legislature. 

Yes, but: The race will likely be decided in Calgary, where a number of close races are being fought in key swing ridings.

What’s next: Polls close at 8pm Mountain Time and we’ll have results shortly after.