Incumbent UCP candidate Angela Pitt has reclaimed the Airdrie-East riding, with enough votes as of 10:30 p.m. to confirm the riding will remain blue.
With 13 of 20 polls currently reporting in the riding, Pitt holds a 7,192–3,894 vote lead over the NDP candidate for the riding, Daniel Nelles. That means Pitt is mathematically projected as the winner of the Airdrie-East seat.
“Overall it is very clear that Airdrie wants to see a UCP government, and that happened here tonight,” Pitt told the Airdrie City View, shortly after being declared the projected winner. “I do feel strong support from the community. I spent tons of hours at the doors, walked many steps, and talked to many people. The people of Airdrie were pretty clear that they want to see a strong economy led by a strong, stable government.
“You always have to earn the trust of Albertans, and we’re going to continue to do that by staying humble and working hard.”
While she is pleased to serve Airdrie and the areas to the east of the city for another four years in Edmonton, Pitt brought up frustrations about the campaign process this year, citing sign vandalism and theft, in particular, as a growing problem.
“This was a really strange election,” she said. “We are coming off a really good record with a strong economy. Our job numbers are great. We are addressing the issues of affordability caused by the Trudeau inflation. But we just came out a major pandemic. It has been a strange couple of years. There have been a number of new issues, and issues that used to be important are less important.
“I also think Albertans are a little bit exhausted from government and elections. Government has been in their face a lot the last number of years, and they are tired. We definitely saw that at the doors.”
Also speaking to the Airdrie City View late on Monday night was Nelles, Pitt's closest challenger. He said while the result was disappointing, he was proud of the campaign the NDP ran and felt it was a good stepping stone to fare better in future elections.
"We are gonna build on this, we are gonna come back, we are going to win next time," he said. "We communicated to Albertans that we have opportunities to vote for a strong economy with better jobs and opportunity to vote for protecting public health care.
"To the folks that decided to lend their vote to me, thank you – I'm so deeply honoured to have the confidence of the folks in Airdrie-East, and I'm immensely grateful for the opportunity to stand up and represent them."
Rounding out the Airdrie-East field was Green Party of Alberta candidate Michael Jacobsen, who has 336 votes as of 10:30 p.m., or just under three per cent.
UCP declared government
Shortly after 11 p.m., news networks began to project the UCP as the election winner, as the party continued to lead in enough ridings to hold onto a majority government.
As of 11:30 p.m., the UCP had secured or was projected to secure 53 seats, compared to the NDP's 34.
—With files from Tim Kalinowski, Marco Palomino, and Scott Strasser/Airdrie City View