The conservatives are coming for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

A right-of-center party swept to power Tuesday in the prairie province of Alberta, riding a wave of angst over the struggling oil sector and the federal government’s climate change plan.

The United Conservative Party, led by Jason Kenney, beat Rachel Notley’s New Democratic Party by a good margin, largely by casting the incumbent, who opposed Trudeau on several issues, as part of a “Notley-Trudeau alliance.”

With the big win in Alberta, right-leaning parties control five of Canada’s 10 provinces, including Ontario and Quebec (Canada also has three territories). The leaders of these provinces, called premiers, constitute a growing threat to Trudeau heading into the federal election in October.

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Canada is seen internationally as a bastion of progressive politics, and under Trudeau has been cast as a foil to President Trump’s United States. But Trudeau’s Liberal government finds itself fending off a conservative surge that could reshape the face of Canadian politics.

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Kenney and other provincial leaders, including Ontario’s Doug Ford, have taken aim at Trudeau’s policies, particularly his government’s efforts to fight climate change by “'putting a price on pollution” (as the government calls it) or “taxing carbon” (as conservative critics like to say).

Their attack on Trudeau’s policies comes at a moment when the prime minister looks personally vulnerable.

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For months, the prime minister and his team have been dogged by claims they inappropriately pressured Canada’s first indigenous attorney general to defer the prosecution of a Quebec-based engineering firm — and demoted her when she pushed back.

The controversy, known in Canada as the SNC-Lavalin affair, has hurt Trudeau’s personal brand. Though the election is still months away, polls hint that it could hurt his prospects, perhaps costing him a majority in Parliament, or if things get worse, his party’s hold on power.

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A conservative win in Alberta won’t necessarily cost Trudeau’s Liberal Party seats in October; the Liberals were unlikely to win many districts in the heartland of Canadian conservatism to begin with. But the loss of a left-of-center premier in a powerhouse province is significant — as was the tenor of Kenney’s campaign.

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The United Conservative Party won Alberta by channeling anger over economic woes, blaming Trudeau for the slumping oil sector and casting his Liberal government as an out-of-touch, out-to-get-Alberta villain.

“We Canadians have been had,” Kenney said in his victory speech. “In Ottawa, we have a federal government that has made a bad situation much worse.”

He suggested, without evidence, that environmental groups who have opposed building pipelines to transport oil were backed by “foreign-funded special interests.”

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“Your days of pushing around Albertans with impunity just ended. We Albertans are patient and we’re fair-minded, but we’ve had enough of your campaign of defamation and double standards,” he told the crowd, according to Canadian media.

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The UCP win will help make energy and the environment a central issue in the federal election. Kenney joins a group of provincial leaders — Ford, Manitoba’s Brian Pallister, New Brunswick’s Blaine Higgs and Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe — who have set out to scrap Trudeau’s carbon plan.

Kenney has vowed to start his tenure by canceling the carbon tax. Though the move would be mostly symbolic — the federal government has promised to simply impose the price either way — his message seems to be finding an audience.

A key ally will be Ford, who is focused on fighting carbon pricing, and the rest of Trudeau’s progressive platform.

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The question for the months ahead is whether loud, forceful opposition from Kenney, Ford and others will weaken the prime minister, or whether call-outs from the right will solidify Trudeau’s standing at the country’s political center.

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