Conservatives largest decline occurred in Calgary, political scientist attributes drop to Kenney's pandemic response

A Calgary political science professor says Conservatives are losing their grip on Alberta and Premier Jason Kenney's scant leadership amid the pandemic was reflected in the federal election results.

Although Alberta voted largely to maintain the status quo, two or possibly three seats will have flipped by the time mail-in ballots are counted on Tuesday, in addition to the one previous NDP holdout in Edmonton.

The Liberals were victorious in Calgary Skyview as former Ward 5 city councillor George Chahal was elected to represent the riding.

Lori Williams, a political science professor at Mount Royal University, believes Chahal is in line for another promotion with "almost a guaranteed cabinet post."

"(He) has political experience, he's well respected in Calgary," said Williams in an interview with CTV Morning Live, before mentioning Chahal's campaign focused on challenges Calgary and Alberta currently face that the federal government has promised to assist with funding, including transit.

She says the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) is facing a reckoning in Alberta, losing the most votes across the country compared to the other parties and the biggest decline was in Calgary.

"I don't think there's any question that Jason Kenney's management of the pandemic played into this election," said Williams.

Kenney has kept a low profile during the federal election campaign and Alberta's mounting fourth wave, only to emerge last week to announce more restrictions and what would eventually come to be called a vaccine passport system. The move was regarded by many as too little, too late.

There are calls for his resignation, and speculation that the inner circles of the United Conservative Party are strategizing Kenney's departure.

Williams says the election night results also puts Erin O'Toole's leadership of the CPC into question.

She adds that minority governments typically force collaboration, and expects that we will see the federal, provincial and municipal governments working together going forward, and expects Chahal to be a part of that.