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Calgary Lougheed byelection: Jason Kenney seeks seat in Alberta legislature

Someone puts a ballot in a box.
It's decision day for former federal Conservative cabinet minister Jason Kenney as voters in the riding of Calgary Lougheed go to the polls in a byelection. Stock image

Former federal Conservative cabinet minister Jason Kenney will be seeking a seat in the Alberta legislature on Thursday.

The seat in the southwest riding of Calgary Lougheed came open after the current MLA stepped aside to make room for a legislative run for Kenney, who became leader of the newly merged United Conservative Party in late October.

READ MORE: Who are the voters in Calgary-Lougheed and how have they voted in the past?

Kenney, the leader and architect of the United Conservative Party – a merger of the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties – is anxious to gain a seat in the legislature so he can go head-to-head with NDP Premier Rachel Notley before the 2019 provincial election.

He is one of seven candidates in the constituency that has traditionally voted Conservative.

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READ MORE: Calgary-Lougheed byelection candidates square off in debate

Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University, says Kenney will likely win in a landslide but he needs to win convincingly.

She says even if it’s close it will hurt Kenney’s claims that Alberta is a conservative province who were hoodwinked into electing the NDP in 2015.