Candidates, left to right, Todd Loewen, Danielle Smith, Rajan Sawhney, Rebecca Schulz, Leela Aheer, Travis Toews, and Brian Jean, attend the United Conservative Party of Alberta leadership candidate's debate in Medicine Hat in July. (File photo from The Canadian Press)

Alberta United Conservatives head to polls on final voting day to replace Kenney

Albertans will learn today who the new premier of the province will be.

Voting is wrapping up by members of the United Conservative Party to select a successor to Premier Jason Kenney.

Kenney announced in the spring he was leaving after receiving 51 per cent in a party leadership vote.

There are 124,000 eligible voters, many of whom have already cast ballots by mail.

There will be in-person voting stations at five locations in various regions today, and the winner will be announced tonight in Calgary.

There are seven candidates in the race, including four former members of Kenney’s cabinet, but one-time Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith is the perceived favourite to win.

Political observers and pollsters have said whoever wins needs to start talking about issues that are top of mind for Albertans.

The leadership debate has been dominated by ways the province can assert greater independence from the federal government.

Pollster Janet Brown and political scientist Lori Williams said Albertans are more concerned about inflation, long waits for health care and jammed emergency wards in hospitals.

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