The riding of Grande Prairie-Wapiti didn’t just have very high voter turnout, it was record-setting.
The GP-Wapiti riding had the highest turnout in Alberta, with 80.2 per cent of voters, some 23,744 people casting a ballot on April 16th. It obliterated the previous mark set in 1993 when just over 57 per cent of voters hit the polls in the riding.
Political Science Instructor Dawn Moffat McMaster says residents across the Grande Prairie area were hyper-engaged in the election, and it shows.
“I do think some of that had to do with a feeling of discontent with the previous government. When people are unhappy they are always motivated to get out and vote and that always drives voter turnout up.”
However, with just under 10,000 votes cast in the 2017 municipal election, Moffat McMaster adds it may have been more to do with the type of election campaign, and how the candidates represented themselves in the lead-up.
“We call it voter efficacy, the idea that their vote can make a difference, I think what you saw this time is evidence of that. It’s going to be interesting to see whether it’s a trend we continue to see happening or if it’s a one-off thing.”
The United Conservative Party won both seats in Grande Prairie, as Tracy Allard also got the nod from voters with 62 per cent of the vote.