April 19, 2019 4:35 pm
Updated: April 22, 2019 1:20 pm

Alberta NDP candidate in Edmonton-South West concedes, giving UCP 1st seat in city

April 17, 2019: A day after the Alberta election, the votes are still being counted and a few races could hang in the balance. Fletcher Kent reports.

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Three days after the Alberta election, the NDP candidate for one of the closest races, Edmonton-South West, conceded.

John Archer, who was hoping to win the seat for the NDP, confirmed to Global News Friday he spoke to UCP opponent Kaycee Madu.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party wins majority government

In a message on Twitter, Madu wrote: “My NDP opponent has called me to congratulate me on winning the Edmonton-South West election. Thank you, everyone, for your kindness, your trust and your support. We have a lot of work to do.”

READ MORE: Elections Alberta releases unofficial results; voter turnout comes in at 71%

Edmonton-South West was one of five ridings that were too close to call Tuesday night.

The remaining four were:

  • Edmonton-West Henday

  • Story continues below
  • Calgary-Currie
  • Calgary-Falconridge
  • Calgary-Varsity

On Friday afternoon, Alberta’s chief electoral officer released the unofficial results for the outstanding “vote-anywhere” polls.

The unofficial results showed Madu led Archer by 712 votes.

Watch below: Kenney says UCP ‘put a lot of effort’ into offering great candidates in Edmonton

Once Madu is officially declared, he will be the only Edmonton UCP MLA in the Alberta legislature.

“If Kaycee Madu is the only Edmonton UCP MLA, there will be a compelling argument to include him in order to assure Edmonton representation at the cabinet table,” Mount Royal political scientist Lori Williams said.

READ MORE: Alberta election hot take: Who could make up Jason Kenney’s UCP cabinet?

Madu graduated from the University of Lagos with a Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) Honours degree. Madu practiced law until he and his wife emigrated to Canada in 2005 for his wife’s post-graduate studies at the University of Alberta.

The couple manages a small law firm in Edmonton.

“No guarantees about cabinet but given that Madu was a star recruit and the only Edmonton MLA, I expect him to be in cabinet,” Mount Royal political scientist Duane Bratt said.

“In 1994, there were big spending cuts that disproportionately hurt Edmonton (because of public sector cuts). This is why there are similar fears in Edmonton today.

“Plus there are those in Calgary (including many UCPers) who believe that Calgary was disproportionately hurt in the economic downturn (which it was) and Edmonton was protected by the NDP. They want some payback.”

Watch below: Jason Kenney wishes more UCP candidates in Edmonton were elected but says the Alberta government will “be there for all Edmontonians, including those who work in our public sector.”

The 2019 Alberta election was the first time the province used a “vote anywhere” system during the advance polls. For the five days of advance voting, Albertans could cast a ballot at any electoral district.

READ MORE: What Alberta election results – and a mostly NDP Edmonton – could mean for the city

Of the record-breaking nearly 700,000 advance ballots cast across the province, Elections Alberta said more than 223,000 were cast at a polling station that was outside the voter’s riding. Officials did not start counting those 223,000 ballots until Wednesday afternoon.

Unofficial voter turnout is 71.1 per cent, based on 1,880,508 votes cast and 2,643,453 registered electors, Elections Alberta said.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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