CALGARY — Alberta’s Wildrose party has named an interim leader after Danielle Smith and eight other caucus members bolted to the governing Progressive Conservatives.

Heather Forsyth is one of the five remaining Wildrose caucus members in the legislature.

Forsyth, a former solicitor general who crossed the floor to the Wildrose from the PCs in 2010, will lead the party until a permanent replacement is chosen.

Last week Smith resigned as Wildrose leader and crossed the floor with eight others to join Premier Jim Prentice.

The move was pitched as a reunification of Alberta’s right with the defectors saying they are ideologically sympatico with Prentice.

It remains to be seen if Wildrose will still be the Official Opposition as the Alberta Liberals also have five seats in the legislature.