Wildrose MLA Prasad Panda won the Calgary-Foothills byelection on Thursday, delivering a major breakthrough for the Wildrose Party, and the first major blow to Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP.
Panda captured 38% of the vote, NDP MLA Hawkesworth trailing at 26%. PC Blair Houston was close behind in third place with 22%.
Panda said NDP policies — hiking corporate taxes, reviewing the province’s royalty regime and raising the hourly minimum wage to $15 by 2018 — have only made the province’s economic malaise worse.
“The message is clear that people are concerned about jobs and economy. That’s what they expressed in this vote,” Panda said in an interview.