NDP topple Tories in both Lethbridge ridings, while much of southern Alberta glows green

Watch above:For the first time in history both Lethbridge ridings elected NDP candidates. Sarolta Saskiw reports.

LETHBRIDGE – For the first time in history, both Lethbridge ridings are NDP orange.

In 2012, the NDP and Progressive Concervatives went head to head in Lethbridge-West, but in the end Tory incumbent Greg Weadick came out on top.

History didn’t repeat itself Tuesday, when NDP candidate Shannon Phillips stole the seat in a riding that’s voted PC since 1975.

Watch: Rise of the Lethbridge NDP

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The race for Lethbridge-East was wide open after longtime MLA Bridget Pastoor announced her retirement earlier this year. Four political rookies vied for her seat, but it was the NDP’s Maria Fitzpatrick who took 45 per cent of the vote, beating out PC candidate Tammy Perlich.

Watch: A look back at Bridget Pastoor’s career

The NDP won a seat in another major southern Alberta centre; Medicine Hat will now be represented by Bob Wanner, who beat out the Wildrose’s Val Olson by 399 votes.

A green glow is being cast outside those cities though, as Wildrose MLA Pat Stier was re-elected in Livingstone-Macleod.

He was one of only five Wildrose MLAs who didn’t cross the floor to join the governing Tories last year.

READ MORE: Big weekend changes to Alberta’s political landscape

A tight race in one of the province’s oldest ridings, the candidate for the Wildrose Party won Little Bow by just 12 votes. Dave Schneider took the seat with 4,803 votes, while the PC’s Ian Donovan placed second with 4,791.

Drew Barnes held on to his seat in Cypress-Medicine Hat for the Wildrose Party. The riding voted Conservative from the time it was created in 1993 until the 2012 election when Barnes won an upset victory over PC incumbent Len Mitzel.

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The Wildrose’s Grant Hunter won against the PC’s Brian Brewin with more than 41 per cent of the vote in Cardston-Taber-Warner.

That was considered a riding to watch after former Wildrose MLA Gary Bikman defected to the PC Party in December, then failed to win his bid for the Tory nomination.

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