Though the ridings remained within the Conservative fold, the performance of the Liberals in two Alberta by-elections was the best the party had managed in these seats for decades. But the province is still a long way from being painted red.
Alberta has been a Liberal wasteland for quite some time, and with the exception of Saskatchewan, was the province where the party put up its worst result in 2011. Just 9 per cent of Albertans voted for the Liberals in that election, part of a steady decline the party has experienced in the province. In 2004, the first election against a united Conservative Party, the Liberals captured 22 per cent of the vote and won two seats in Alberta. In 2006, that dropped to 15 per cent and no seats, and again to just 11 per cent in 2008.