ALBERTA

Rachel Notley's NDP Win In Alberta Stuns Party Faithful

05/06/2015 03:05 EDT | Updated 05/05/2016 05:59 EDT
EDMONTON - Neda Waselenchuk was hoping Albertans would vote NDP, but she didn't expect an orange revolution.

The 50-year-old stood among a throng of 2,000 party supporters at downtown Edmonton hotel as the provincial election results came in Tuesday night.

The New Democrats won their first-ever majority government, ousting the Progressive Conservatives who have ruled in Alberta for the last 44 years.

"You know what, it's about damn time Albertans made change," said Waselenchuk, struggling to remember a time when the Tories weren't in power.

"This is historic. Like, seriously, Alberta: thank you, thank you."

Many in the crowd cheered and hugged each other. Some wore orange jackets and hats. Several sported T-shirts emblazoned with "Notley Crue," a mash-up of heavy-metal's Motley Crue and party leader Rachel Notley.

After Notley delivered her victory speech, people lined up for drinks and others spilled outside, waving signs as passing cars honked their horns.

Lara Gaudrey, her infant son strapped to her chest, said she hoped to see a change of government in her lifetime. As a junior high teacher, she believes the NDP won votes with its promise to make education a priority.

"They really spoke of tangible change ... I've dealt with the cuts year after year. When I started teaching, it was a lot different than now, and I'm only nine years into my career."

Ezekiel Gow, 23, struggled to describe his excitement.

"I'm practically speechless," he said. "It's unbelievable. A couple of weeks ago, no one knew this was possible. And now Alberta has voted for change."

David Shepherd, one of the NDP candidates who swept all 19 constituencies in Edmonton, smiled as he shook hands. He said he was stunned and thrilled by the election numbers.

"It's going to take a few days to process, catch up and deal with it. But we've been given this opportunity by the people of Alberta," Shepherd said.

"Tomorrow the hard work begins."

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Alberta Election Day 2015