Despite squeaking by with a 51.4 per cent vote, Jason Kenney has stepped down as leader of the United Conservative Party.

"While 51 per cent of the vote passes the constitutional threshold of a majority, it's clearly not adequate support to continue on as leader, and that is why I have informed the president of the party of my intention of stepping down as leader of the party," he told a gathering in Calgary.

"I'm sorry, my friends, but I truly believe that we need to move forward united, we need to put the past behind us, and a large number of our members have asked for an opportunity clear the air through a leadership election."

With the next provincial election slated for May 2023, he's asked for the leadership race to be held in a timely fashion.

A total of 34,298 votes were cast, 17,638 (51.4 per cent) in favour of keeping Kenney as the leader, 16, 660 (48.6 per cent) against.

We've reached out to Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie for a reaction.