POLITICS

David Swann says Alberta Liberals not weakened by Blakeman merger gambit

03/16/2015 02:13 EDT | Updated 05/16/2015 05:59 EDT
EDMONTON - Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann says allowing one of his candidates to campaign with election rivals is not a sign the party is in a weakened state.

Swann says having Liberal house leader Laurie Blakeman run in Edmonton Centre under three party banners is a necessary experiment born of the need to avoid a sweep by the Progressive Conservatives.

Premier Jim Prentice is expected to drop the writ at the end of the month, and the Liberals have only 13 candidates nominated for 87 ridings.

Last week, Blakeman announced she had decided to run under the Liberal, Alberta Party, and Green party banners in the campaign, saying it's critical to unite progressives.

Six weeks ago, the party rejected Blakeman's bid to become interim party leader after she tied her leadership to some kind of accommodation with their rivals.