The Lethbridge federal riding has been around since 1987. Previously, the Lethbridge area was part of the Lethbridge-Foothills riding (1977-1987). Officially, our riding is defined as:
LETHBRIDGE consisting of that part of the Province of Alberta described as follows: commencing at the southwest corner of said province; thence generally northerly along the west boundary of said province to the northerly boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada; thence generally easterly along said boundary to the Belly River; thence generally northerly along said river to the southerly boundary of Blood Indian Reserve No. 148; thence easterly and generally northeasterly along the southerly and southeasterly boundaries of said Indian reserve to the southwesterly limit of Lethbridge County; thence generally northwesterly, generally easterly and generally southerly along the westerly, northerly and easterly limits of said county to the northerly limit of Warner County No. 5; thence generally easterly and generally southeasterly along the northerly and easterly limits of said county to the south boundary of said province; thence west along said boundary to the point of commencement. (Source: Parliament of Canada website)
- The first federal election held in the Lethbridge riding was in 1988. The NDP was represented by a local professor, Don Ferguson. He received 4489 votes, coming in third against Progressive Conservative lawyer Blain Thacker. Out of the five candidates that ran in the riding, Ferguson received 9.80% of the vote.
- At the next election (1993), the NDP candidate was Doug Petherbridge, a retired professor. A total of six candidates ran in our riding, of which Petherbridge came in third place. Petherbridge received 1313 votes, amounting to an unfortunate 2.81% of the total. The riding was won by farmer Ray Speaker of the Reform Party.
- In the following election, 1997, the NDP was represented by Victor Lough, a cook. Lough ran alongside five other candidates from other parties, and lost to Reform Party candidate Rick Casson, who continued to be the riding's MP until 2011. Lough received 5.38% of the vote with 2211 votes.
- For the following election of 2000, the NDP's candidate was student Garth Hardy. A total of six candidates ran. Hardy received 2648 votes, or 5.74%.
- The 2004 election marked the debut of NDP candidate Melanee Thomas, another student. She received 4623 votes, amounting to a successful 9.73% of the total. She ran against five other candidates, coming in third place.
- Melanee Thomas also represented the NDP in the recent 2006 election, running against another five candidates and coming in second place against Conservative candidate Rick Casson. She received a very successful 13.7% of the total vote, with 7135 votes.
- In 2008, Mark Sandilands, who’d run twice provincially in Lethbridge West (see below), was the NDP Candidate, coming in second again for the NDP with 6,733 votes (14.2%)
- Sandilands ran again in 2011, this time against a new Conservative candidate. The result was a strong improvement, almost doubling the vote (13, 097) for 27.24%.
- See this Wikipedia article for a complete history.
- As for the Lethbridge provincial ridings,
- In the 2004 elections, Gaye Metz (Lethbridge East) received 606 votes, or 2.4% of the total. In Lethbridge West, Mark Sandilands received 1357 votes, amounting to 12.3% of the total.
- Before that, in the 2001 election, the NDP was represented by Gaye Metz and Mark Sandilands in the East and West ridings, respectively. Metz received 542 votes, or 1.1% of the vote in Lethbridge East. Sandilands received 1062 votes, or 7.6%.