The 2018 Saskatchewan Party leadership race resulted in the election of a new premier for the province, Scott Moe.
He replaces Brad Wall, who was for over ten years the leader of Saskatchewan, and for almost 14 years the Saskatchewan Party’s leader. Change will come quickly to the province, as Moe is expected to take office as premier soon.
2018 Saskatchewan Party Leadership Race: Results
The leadership convention held all five ballots possible. In order of elimination, Moe defeated Rob Clarke, Tina Beaudry-Mellor, Gord Wyant, Ken Cheveldayoff, and Alanna Koch. Moe ran a very close second to Koch on the first three ballots. After Wyant’s elimination, however, Moe pulled ahead for good. He finally secured a majority in a head-to-head run with Koch.
Scott Moe’s fifth ballot total was 53.9 percent of the delegate votes.
Had Koch prevailed in the final ballot, she would have been Saskatchewan’s first female premier.
2018 Saskatchewan Party Leadership Race: On Scott Moe
Moe, first elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2011, was most recently Saskatchewan’s Minister of the Environment. He is the member for Rosthern-Shellbrook, a riding north of Saskatoon and a safe Saskatchewan Party seat. Moe was first elected in 2011, and re-elected as an MLA in 2016 in a landslide.
Prior to entering provincial politics, Moe was a businessman. In the 1990s, he was involved in a highway accident which resulted in a fatality; Moe spoke openly about this incident upon joining the leadership race.
2018 Saskatchewan Party Leadership Race: Political Implications
Saskatchewan is not due for another election until 2020. The Saskatchewan Party, the right-leaning party of the province, holds 49 out of the 61 seats in the legislature. In the 2011 and 2016 elections, Brad Wall led his government to landslides. Without Wall, a consistently popular premier, the door is open for the NDP. Once the dominant political party of Saskatchewan, they have been reduced to weak opposition status since 2011. The New Democrats were most recently in power between 1991 and 2007; the Saskatchewan Party at 11 years and counting is not unusual in this province. That said, this is the Saskatchewan NDP’s longest spell out of office in their history, even as the CCF.
As the New Democratic Party is searching for a leader of their own, it’s difficult to say what foundation they will lay for the 2020 poll. A few 2017 surveys indicated the NDP may be catching up, but most still have the Saskatchewan Party ahead. The Liberals and Greens are minor players in terms of winning seats, but should 2020 be a close call, an uptick (or downtick) in their votes could shift the balance.
One would expect the NDP to eventually rebound, but Wall lived up to his name and kept them out of power. It is at this point too soon to say if Moe can succeed in securing a fourth term for his party.
The Canadian election calendar will have more on this poll as 2020 approaches.