UCP 'unpopularity' hurt Conservative candidates: MP Cooper

The “unpopularity” of Alberta’s UCP government hurt conservative candidates in Monday’s election, according to an experienced Edmonton-area MP.

Conservative Party candidate Michael Cooper held onto his seat in St. Albert but acknowledged he heard a lot of anger from voters about the UCP and Premier Jason Kenney while he was door knocking.

The UCP has trailed the NDP in numerous Alberta polls for much of 2021.

“It had an impact. We have seen a little bit of a drop in the capital region and I think that’s attributable to, frankly, the unpopularity of the provincial government,” Cooper said in an election night interview with CTV Edmonton.

“That was expected. I heard it at the doors. We also had a little bit of bleeding to the PPC.”

CPC vote share in the province fell by about 10 per cent, and the party lost one seat in Calgary and is at risk of losing two more in close Edmonton races.

Federal conservatives still dominated the province they usually win though - capturing at least 30 seats and about 55 per cent of votes in Alberta.

Cooper secured his third straight election victory, defeating the NDP’s Kathleen Mpulubusi by about 11,000 votes.

Kenney - a supporter of Erin O’Toole - was quiet on social media Monday, not posting anything about the election.

Cooper said Albertans will get a chance to address their provincial concerns in 2023, the next scheduled election.

As for his party leader - Cooper dodged a direct question about whether O’Toole should stay on, or resign.

“We’ve got to look at the results across the country, but I think we ran a good national campaign and had a good national result,” Cooper said.

Races involving incumbent Conservative MPs James Cummings and Kerry Diotte were still undecided Monday.