- Alberta general election, 1982
The Alberta general election of 1982 was the twentieth general election for the Province of
Alberta, Canada. It was held on November 2, 1982 to elect members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
Less than four years had passed since the Progressive Conservatives won their landslide victory in
1979. Premier Peter Lougheeddecided to call a snap electionto catch fledgling new parties off guard, most notably the separatist Western Canada Conceptwhich was capitalizing on anger over Lougheed's perceived weakness in dealings with the federal government, in particular his acceptance of the hugely unpopular National Energy Program. The WCC had won a by-election earlier in the year, and Lougheed decided that it would be wise to stage a showdown with the WCC sooner rather than later.
Lougheed then proceeded to mount a campaign based largely on
scare tactics, warning Albertans angry with Ottawa but yet uneasy with the WCC that they could end up with a separatist government by voting for a separtist party. The strategy worked for the Tories, who won their fourth consecutive term in government, and returned to the 62% popular vote level it had attained in the 1975 election. The PC party won 75 of the 79 seats in the legislature.
Alberta Liberal Partywas punished in the wake of the NEP and was barely able to field candidates in a third of the ridings, and went down to one of its worst showings in party history.
The Social Credit Party collapsed: its share of the popular vote fell from almost 20% to less than one percent after its legislative
caucushad resigned from the party. Two of its members won re-election as independents, and later formed the Representative Party of Alberta.
The New Democratic Party, led by
Grant Notley, became the official opposition when it doubled its legislative caucus from one member to two.
The WCC, a party that advocated the separation of the four western provinces of Canada to form a new country, had surprised Canadians when
Gordon Keslerwon his by-election and took a seat in the Alberta legislature. Although Kesler lost his seat in this election after he changed electoral districts from Olds-Didsburyand ran in Highwood, the WCC won almost 12% of the popular vote.
Alberta Reform Movementa new party founded by ex-Progressive Conservative Tom Sindlingerwas not ready for the election and ended up losing its only seat in Calgary Buffalo
*Party did not nominate candidates in the previous election.
For complete electoral history, see individual districts
*List of Alberta political parties
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