Watch above: Provincial affairs reporter Tom Vernon takes a closer look at the ever-changing make up of the Alberta legislature
EDMONTON — Nine Wildrose MLAs, including leader Danielle Smith, crossed the floor on Wednesday, completely changing Alberta’s political landscape.
After the governing Progressive Conservatives swept the provincial byelections in late October, the Prentice government held 61 seats. As the Official Opposition, the Wildrose Party held 17, the Liberals five and the NDP four.
Just a few days after the byelections, Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin announced he was leaving the party to sit as an Independent, leaving the Wildrose with 16 MLAs.
On Nov. 24, Wildrose MLAs Kerry Towle and Ian Donovan crossed the floor, joining the growing PC Party. At the time, Smith said she was confident no more MLAs from her party would leave.
Then, less than one month later, Smith was among nine Wildrose MLAs to defect to the government benches.
The move leaves the PC Party holding 72 of the 87 seats in the legislature. The Wildrose Party now has five, the Liberals also have five and the NDP has four.
Anglin remains the sole Independent MLA, telling Global News he feels like “the pretty girl at the dance without a date.”
“I have no intention to not take advantage of this opportunity,” he said Wednesday.
For a complete wrap of the events at the legislature this week, listen to provincial affairs reporter Tom Vernon’s podcast.
With files from Tom Vernon, Global News.