Alberta has concluded the 2023 round of elections to decide the membership of its Legislative Assembly. Incumbent Premier Danielle Smith led the United Conservative Party into the contest. Under Smith, who took over as both premier and party leader last year, the UCP has taken a hard-right turn.

A number of conservative parties have traditionally done well in Alberta. And, objectively, the UCP also did well this time around. But not to the level that had become historically expected. And several UCP heavy-hitters would pay a big price.

The UCP notches a relatively small majority

The United Conservative Party has won enough seats to maintain a majority in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. But, as indicated by Reuters and the Edmonton Journal, its power will be significantly diminished.

By comparison, it was a different story in the 2019 general election for the UCP under Leader Jason Kenney. That year, the party scored more than two and a half times as many seats as the New Democratic Party. Four years later, the UCP now has a majority of a mere four seats.

For the second consecutive Alberta general election, the UCP and NDP were the only two parties to win seats. The Liberal Party, among others continues to be shut out. While Liberals have been the controlling party at the federal level, they've struggled at the provincial level for years.

Mightily so at times.

Several members of Danielle Smith's Cabinet were among those to lose their seats to NDP challengers. Arguably most alarming of them all was the loss of Kaycee Madu. Madu had been the deputy premier before the election. He would be routed in the Edmonton-South West riding by the NDP's Nathan Ip.

The NDP also wrangled away two open seats that were previously held by the UCP.

Including in the riding of Calgary-Elbow, which was won by Samir Kayande. The seat in question had been vacant since last August, before Danielle Smith came to power. But before that, it was held by Doug Schweitzer, who at one point was Jason Kenney's justice minister.

The UCP failed to unseat any NDP incumbents, nor win a race where an NDP seat holder was retiring.

Both parties each won one open seat that had been held by an Independent. But in both cases, the departing occupant was a previous member of the party who recently lost their membership amid scandal.

Smith set to remain premier

Calgary native Danielle Smith won re-election from the riding of Brooks-Medicine Hat, located in the province's southeast. Smith is currently in her second stint in the Legislative Assembly. As well as a party leader, but the first time was with a different party.

Smith previously held a seat from the Highwood riding. She was also the leader of the now-defunct Wildrose Party. In 2012, she led the party to the second-most seats in the legislature, making her the Official Opposition leader.

Smith left the Wildrose Party in late 2014 and the Legislative Assembly the following year.

Before going into politics, Smith was a columnist with the Calgary Herald and a Global Television Network personality. In between legislative tenures, she hosted a show on the Calgary radio station CHQR. During which time she repeatedly became embroiled in controversy for promoting unfounded conspiracy theories. Along with other statements, such as downplaying the threat of cancer.