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Good morning. It’s James Keller in Calgary.

Pierre Poilievre’s victory in the federal Conservative Party leadership race prompted immediate comparisons to a similar contest happening in Alberta, where he grew up and got an early start wading into politics.

Candidates running to replace Premier Jason Kenney as leader of the United Conservative Party had already been falling over each other to align themselves with Mr. Poilievre with the hopes of having even a small hint of his seemingly meteoric popularity rub off on them.

That’s only grown louder in the week since he was coronated federal Opposition Leader, with UCP candidates making sure to post congratulatory messages and selfies with Mr. Poilievre as everyone assumes his victory is a harbinger in this province.

The question now is whether Mr. Poilievre’s victory provides a window into where things are headed in Alberta, assuming that many of the same people who fuelled his popularity in the province are now sitting down to fill out their ballots in the UCP race.

That’s certainly what the perceived frontrunner in Alberta, Danielle Smith, wants people to believe. Ms. Smith says Mr. Poilievre’s first-ballot victory means the same thing is possible for her, and she has apparently been courting the same anger and anti-establishment sentiment that was so central for Mr. Poilievre’s leadership race.

Travis Toews, the former finance minister, has been more circumspect. While he, too, has attempted to link himself to Mr. Poilievre, he also told Globe and Mail columnist Kelly Cryderman that he doesn’t see a “straight line” from the new federal Conservative leader and any of the UCP candidates.

In this weekend’s Globe, Kelly argues that there are several important differences between Mr. Poilievre’s leadership win and what’s happening in Alberta – and specifically Ms. Smith, whose campaign has drawn the most frequent comparisons to him.

Ms. Smith has made her proposed sovereignty act, which she claims would give the province the authority to opt out of federal laws, a centrepiece of her campaign. But the idea has been widely panned by constitutional experts and condemned by many in her own party, including Mr. Kenney, several sitting cabinet ministers, and nearly all of her leadership rivals.

That means even if she does win – or, for that matter, even if she doesn’t – the UCP is far less united than its federal counterpart and there appears to be little chance of everyone putting aside those differences to rally around a new leader.

While there are significant questions about whether Mr. Poilievre can turn his strong party victory into the broad sort of appeal needed to win an election, the next UCP leader faces a more immediate question of whether it’s even possible to keep the party together.

And now that he is leader, Mr. Poilievre will almost certainly face questions about Ms. Smith’s sovereignty act proposal and what he would do if a province such as Alberta unilaterally decided to ignore the federal government.

Mr. Poilievre hasn’t said much about the sovereignty act proposal but at least one member of his leadership team has. Grande Prairie-Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin – the new deputy whip, and a key Alberta lieutenant for Mr. Poilievre – is also a Toews supporter who has retweeted Mr. Toews’s criticism of the sovereignty act.

The UCP will have a new leader in just a few weeks. The winner will be announced on Oct. 6. The next provincial election is next May.

For more on Mr. Poilievre’s victory, read Campbell Clark’s profile, the cover story for the Saturday Globe.

This is the weekly Western Canada newsletter written by B.C. Editor Wendy Cox and Alberta Bureau Chief James Keller. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for it and all Globe newsletters here.