Lesser Slave voters choose Sinclair of the UCP

Van Dijken returned in Ath-Barr-West

Joe McWilliams

Lakeside Leader

A majority of Lesser Slave Lake voters chose Scott Sinclair of the United Conservative Party as their new MLA on May 29. Sinclair, a 38-year-old business owner, replaces the UCP’s Pat Rehn as MLA for the region. He’ll join 48 other successful UCP candidates in the new Danielle Smith government, which won a reduced majority. The NDP continues as the official opposition, with 38 seats.

Sinclair ended up with 64 per cent of the valid votes cast in the riding, doing better than his NDP opponent Danielle Larivee in poll after poll.

Larivee, the former MLA and cabinet minister, won several smaller communities in the riding. But where it counted most – principally in High Prairie and Slave Lake – voters went blue across the board.

Further south, incumbent UCP MLA Glenn van Dijken cruised back into office in Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock, with 66 per cent of the vote.

Considering the intensity of the campaign, both locally and provincially, the turnout wasn’t great in Lesser Slave Lake. Unofficially, 7,949 people voted (not counting a small number of rejected ballots). That’s 49 per cent of eligible voters, based on the latest available figure, which was from 2019. In that year’s election, over 10,000 people voted in Lesser Slave Lake.

The provincial voter turnout was around 62 per cent.

The turnout was better in Van Dijken’s riding, with over 21,000 people casting ballots.

Taking a closer look at the LSL results, Slave Lake voters went for Sinclair over Larivee by about 3:1. The ratio in advance voting was a bit above two-to-one in the UCP candidate’s favour.

Sinclair was a runaway leader at the poll in Smith.

At the High Prairie Legion polling station, it was a bit under a 2:1 Sinclair advantage.

Larivee spent a lot of time campaigning in First Nations communities, and it appears to have worked. She was a winner at polling stations in Driftpile, Gift Lake, Kapawe’no, Sucker Creek and Wabasca.

As for the third candidate, Bert Seatter of the independence-minded Solidarity Movement of Alberta, he finished a distant third, with 184 votes. Fears that he would ‘siphon off’ conservative votes from the UCP candidate proved to be unwarranted.

Seatter actually won one of the special ballot categories (High Prairie/Slave Lake Mobile), with 53 votes to Larivee’s 25 and Sinclair’s six.

Scott Sinclair
Glenn VanDijken

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