Alberta Progressive Conservatives set to pick new leader at convention

Aided by social conservative activists drawn from Wildrose Party ranks and signed up as new PC members, Kenney's campaign triumphed as predicted on the first ballot just before 5 p.m.

"This result sends a message to our fellow Albertans who are struggling, to those 200,000 Albertans who are looking for work, we are going to ensure there is a government on your side".

Premier Rachel Notley offered her congratulations to Kenney Monday, and said she's not terribly concerned about a united right.

Richard Starke, a sitting PC legislature member, was second with 323 votes.

Voting is now underway to fill the vacancy left after former leader Jim Prentice resigned after the PC's lost the 2015 election to the NDP.

Peter Lougheed, premier of Alberta from 1971 to 1985 and the effective founder of the PC Dynasty in Alberta, must be spinning like a top in his grave tonight at the thought of someone like Kenney leading his party.

Kenney attacked the New Democrats in his speech after his win.

Kenney won 75 per cent of the PC leadership convention vote in Calgary over the weekend on a mandate of forming a new conservative party with the Wildrose.

"Today is the beginning of the end of this disastrous socialist government", said Kenney.

Well, it may seem odd for an old Dipper to lament the passing of the PCs - Kenney backers would likely just say it's proactive sour grapes 'cause they're gonna win in 2019 and party like it's Saturday night at Mar-a-Lago.

Wildrose too will have to craft a merger-type policy - or a motion to wrap up the party altogether with the view to joining a new conservative force - and vote on it. Kenney's critics fear he will abandon the PC's centrist approach on social issues to embrace the social conservatism of the Wildrose.

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Delegates booed Starke during his speech earlier Saturday when he warned that a merger with the Wildrose could tar the PCs with the label of intolerance toward women and minorities.

"I've put on 16,000 kilometress on my Dodge Ram pickup going to every constituency in the province", he said.

"I ask you all to stand behind the next leader of our party", O'Neill said.

"We go forward now as conservatives together", added Nelson.

We will see the true face of the new-style Alberta Conservative party soon enough as Alberta's conservative movement is hammered into the template set out in the Preston Manning playbook Kenney is following.

The NDP immediately reached out to progressive voters on Twitter after Kenney's win.

Speaking Sunday, Kenney met with the PC party board and party president Katherine O'Neill.

For Kenney, unity is a road map with no road.

The next election has to take place on or before May 31, 2019.

"We know that many delegates are wanting to hear what the candidates have to say tonight and tomorrow and then they want to make their decision based on that", Starke said.

Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous, at the convention to represent the governing NDP, said if Kenney wants to ratchet back spending, he needs to specify to Albertans which projects and programs he'll cut.