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As the UCP leadership review nears, Jason Kenney seeks a simple majority

Jason Kenney's future as leader in the United Conservative Party will be decided in just over a month in Red Deer, and the Alberta premier knows what level of support he's seeking to stay in charge.

"In a democracy, a majority is 50 per cent plus one," Kenney said when asked what the threshold would be for him to stay on as leader of the UCP.

"I think the broad mainstream of Albertan conservatives want us to continue in getting the job done, keeping our commitments, building a strong province and being focused on a strong Alberta economy," he said later.

The premier made the comments Wednesday while reaffirming the government's plan to boost rural broadband internet across the province. 

The announcement took place in Innisfail, which is only about 30 minutes away from where UCP members will vote on whether they approve of the party leader in April.

Though Kenney is seeking just a simple majority in order to remain, previous conservative leaders in Alberta have been forced out after receiving much higher support.

"Ed Stelmach and Alison Redford (each) got 77 per cent in a leadership review and they were forced out by their party," said Lori Williams, a political scientist with Mount Royal University.

"I would say there's a bit of a difference here in that Jason Kenney has a tight grip on the party," she said.

Ahead of the review, at least two groups have organized in an effort to sway voters against the premier. 'Take Back Alberta' and 'Vote Kenney Out' have each launched outreach campaigns, which include transportation to Red Deer for the vote.

Kenney has his own team working to drum up support on his behalf. His chief of staff, Pam Livingston, has taken a leave of absence along with other staffers to form a "campaign" team for Kenney.

The UCP leadership review is in Red Deer on April 9. Top Stories

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