Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Byelection drama: Tories reclaim Calgary seat

  • Print

OTTAWA -- It shouldn't be news that the Conservatives have won a federal byelection in Calgary Centre -- but Joan Crockatt made this one interesting.

In a night of byelection drama, Crockatt squeaked out a win in the riding right next to that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in what should be a Tory fortress.

The Conservatives also won the Ontario riding of Durham, with Erin O'Toole easily reclaiming the seat vacated by former cabinet minister Bev Oda.

And on the Pacific coast, the New Democrat Murray Rankin and Donald Galloway of the Greens were still slugging it out late Monday in Victoria, a riding that's been solidly NDP since 2004.

"This is a lot tighter than we anticipated, for sure," said Victoria-area provincial New Democrat legislator Maurine Karagianis.

"But, this is definitely a vote against Stephen Harper."

She said the NDP believes the strong Green showing is a result of Conservative voters "parking their votes with the Greens."

But it was Calgary -- a city that's seen its share of political drama of late -- that attracted all the attention as establishment candidate Crockatt ran neck-and-neck with Liberal challenger Harvey Locke for most of the evening, eventually edging ahead for a margin of just over a thousand votes.

The former journalist wound up winning with about 37 per cent of the popular vote, the lowest for an MP-elect in Calgary Centre since the riding was created in 1968.

Running in a bedrock small-c conservative seat, Crockatt ran a safe, low-key campaign, that had the Liberal and Green contenders nipping at her Conservative heels.

Byelections tend to be hard on sitting governments, but Calgary Centre wasn't supposed to be a problem for the Harper Conservatives.

The riding hadn't seen a three-way race since Reformers and Progressive Conservatives were fighting for the right to roast a Liberal in the early 1990s. The combined conservative vote Calgary Centre hadn't fallen below 50 per cent since 1972.

But Crockatt's vocal support for the upstart Wildrose party in the last Alberta election appeared to divide the local conservative base, with some openly defecting to support Locke.

"Calgary is not a redneck city," Locke said late Monday night before tearily hugging his wife and conceding.

The one routine byelection of the night took place in central Ontario.

A cheer went up from his Durham supporters when O'Toole hit 50 per cent of the popular vote, leaving NDP candidate Larry O'Connor with 26.8 per cent -- an improvement for the party over 2011, but still far from enough.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 27, 2012 A9

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Trucks power through flooded underpass at Main St and Higgins

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose comes in for a landing Thursday morning through heavy fog on near Hyw 59 just north of Winnipeg - Day 17 Of Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Winnipeg Free Press 090528 STAND UP...(Weather) One to oversee the pecking order, a pack of pelican's fishes the eddies under the Red River control structure at Lockport Thursday morning......

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s comment that Tina Fontaine’s slaying was a crime, and not part of a larger sociological problem?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google