Danielle Smith, Age: 43
Hometown: Calgary
Influential because: She’s the leader of the Wildrose movement

Danielle Smith has been on the Most Influential list three years in a row, and four out of the last five – and for good reason. Smith has led the Wildrose Party since 2009 and has guided it not only to form the official opposition, but to near government-in-waiting status. Smith kept Premier Alison Redford on the defensive for much of her time as premier, ultimately helping to force her resignation. At the same time, the Wildrose is now matching the Progressive Conservatives in fundraising, is in far better financial health, is leading by a considerable margin in the polls (at press time), and has forced a massive mea culpa from interim premier Dave Hancock, who in May said the PCs had lost touch with the grassroots. The last big test for Smith is if her push to moderate the more radical elements in her party will prove successful at the ballot box.