NEWS

Danielle Smith asks for leadership review after Wildrose byelection losses

10/28/2014 12:34 EDT | Updated 12/28/2014 05:59 EST
Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith has asked for a review of her leadership in the wake of her party’s loss in all four of Monday’s Alberta byelection contests.

The governing Progressive Conservative Party won all the races, including Calgary-Foothills, where Premier Jim Prentice picked up a seat.

Alberta Education Minister Gordon Dirks won in Calgary-Elbow, Mike Ellis won in Calgary-West, and Stephen Mandel won in Edmonton-Whitemud.

“We didn’t get the results that we had hoped for,” Smith said.

Smith said she has asked her party’s president to include a leadership vote on the agenda at the Wildrose annual general meeting in Red Deer next month.

"We do have to do some soul-searching to find out why it is we didn't gain ground and as party leader I have to take responsibility for it," she said. 

Under the party’s constitution, Smith isn’t required to submit to a leadership review until after the next general election, she said.

But given Monday’s results Smith said she feels party members should be consulted sooner. She said she wants a firm mandate of at least 77 per cent support. 

“You can only lead if people are willing to follow,” she said. “I have the fire in my belly, I want to do it.”

Smith said she believes she still enjoys broad support within the party. And she said Wildrose remains the only opposition party that presents Albertans with a viable alternative to the current government.

“We really are… the only party that is capable of contesting the Tories in every riding in this province.”

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