With less than a dozen seats and the Tory dynasty in tatters following Tuesday’s stunning defeat — followed by the resignation of leader Jim Prentice — high-profile members now suggest the party consider merger talks with the Wildrose.

At the party’s headquarter in Calgary, Prentice announced he was stepping down as Tory leader and MLA for Calgary-Foothills immediately, forcing the party launch its fourth leadership contest in nine years.

“My public contribution to public life is at an end. … I have resigned as the leader of the Progressive Conservative party.”

The 58-year-old Calgary lawyer told the sparse crowd of Tory faithful at the cavernous Metropolitan Centre that he still believes he made the right decision in calling an early election, but said the voters are always right — and they sent his party a clear message.

“I’ve been a member of this party since I’ve been a young man and share your disappointment … It has been a trying time for all of us,” said Prentice, who took over the party’s helm last September.

“My public contribution to public life is at an end. … I have resigned as the leader of the Progressive Conservative party.”

This story was first published May 5, 2015 in the Calgary Herald. Full story here.

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