05/06/2015 01:31 EDT | Updated 05/05/2016 05:59 EDT

Alberta election 2015: the rural-urban divide

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

Early polls were projecting the Balkanization of Alberta, with Wildrose dominating rural areas, the NDP taking over Edmonton and the PCs holding onto their base in Calgary.

As the campaign progressed, it looked more and more like a three-way race, but with the NDP making serious rural inroads and gaining in Calgary.

In the end it was less about regionalization, and more about the urban-rural divide.

Lethbridge, Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat and Red Deer all went to the NDP, with several Calgary ridings sticking with the PCs.

The expected NDP takeover of Edmonton materialized, spread outward in central Alberta, and thrust north into Conservative ridings.

Green countryside

Still, it's a fairly green countryside, with the Wildrose claiming Official Opposition status thanks to its rural vote, after being all but shut out in the cities.

While there has always been a divide in terms of priorities between the cities and the rural areas, there was the uniting force of the PC government.

Now, Alberta will have to face the reality of a largely urban government squaring off against a rural opposition and a greatly reduced PC party centred around fragmented Calgary and two rural ridings.

The Alberta Party managed to pick up its first seat from the PCs, electing Leader Greg Clark in Calgary-Elbow.

Calgary Mountain-View went to Liberal Leader David Swann, the party's only seat.