Alberta’s Opposition United Conservatives won two byelections Thursday, maintaining hold of ridings the party represented before the vote was called.
In Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, United Conservative candidate Devin Dreeshen took about 80 per cent of the vote with the NDP’s Nicole Mooney running a distant second.
The United Conservative margin of victory in Fort McMurray-Conklin was almost as one-sided, with Laila Goodridge winning about 66 per cent of the votes.
New Democrat Jane Stroud was second with about 30 per cent of the ballots.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley congratulated the winners and the losing candidates.
“Congratulations to all candidates who put their names forward and to the new MLAs LailaGoodridge & DevinDVote,” she wrote in a post on Twitter.
“I’m very proud of the #abndp campaigns run by both NicoleMooneyNDP & JaneStroudNDP and their teams. A special thank you to all of the volunteers.”
The results will not change the balance of power in the legislature since Notley’s NDP holds 54 of the 87 seats.
The winning candidates will have to run again in less than a year when the spring 2019 general election is called.
The byelections were called to replace two United Conservatives who had resigned.
Don MacIntyre stepped down as the member for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake in February when he was charged with sex assault and sexual interference.
In Fort McMurray-Conklin, former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean left in March after his unsuccessful bid to head the United Conservatives.
Both of their successors campaigned on a platform that was critical of NDP policies and on the need to bolster Alberta’s economy.
The Alberta Party and Alberta Liberals also ran candidates in both constituencies.