Alberta New Democratic Party

Party Leader: Rachel Notley
Founded: 1932
Current Number of Seats: 52


Originally called the Alberta CCF (short for Co-operative Commonwealth Federation), the NDP has operated in Alberta since 1932. The party first ran candidates in the 1940 provincial election under leader Chester Ronning. Despite 11 per cent of the popular vote, the party did not win any seats.

The centre-left party continued to grow in support from farmers, especially after the collapse of the United Farmers of Alberta (who governed the province from 1921 to 1935). Until the 1980s, however, the party was unable to capture more than two seats in any provincial election.

The CCF merged with the Canadian Labour Congress in 1961 to create the Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP). The Social Credit Party, the NDP’s main competition for votes, was defeated by the PC in 1971 and under leader Grant Notley the NDP became the official opposition in 1982.

In the 1986 election, the NDP took 16 seats and almost 30 per cent of the vote under new leader Ray Martin, and the party won 16 seats again in 1989. In 1993, the party lost all of their seats and official opposition status to the Liberals.

The 1997 and 2001 elections were again unsuccessful under the respective leaderships of Pam Barrett and Raj Pannu.

Brian Mason was elected leader in 2004 and led the party to four seats 2004 and two in 2008. During the 2012 election, the NDP took four seats overall.

Mason announced his resignation as leader in April 2014. Rachel Notley was elected as the party’s new leader in October 2014. After four decades of PC governance in Alberta, in 2015, Notley and the NDP took over 41 per cent of the vote.