By-Election Live Blog

“Harvey’s a great guy – for an Albertan”

Voters in Durham, Victoria, and Calgary Centre head to the polls tonight in what were originally pegged as three “safe” by-elections. The story appears to be following the script in Durham and Victoria but, unexpectedly, Calgary Centre has become the riding to watch. When Lee Richardson resigned from Parliament last spring, no one could have fathomed the type of bizarro world we’d find ourselves in, with the Tories on the ropes, the Greens attacking the Liberals, and two-year old comments by Justin Trudeau becoming the defining issue of the campaign.

While it seems likely the Conservatives will hold the riding, I don’t have a lot of confidence in any of the polls we’ve seen, and there remains a small chance the Liberals or Greens could break through. Since it would be a shame for a blog titled “Calgary Grit” to miss the first win by the Liberal Party of Canada in Calgary since 1968, I’ll be live-blogging the results here as soon as the polls close at 7:30 Mountain Time.

7:57 pm (Mountain Time): You can find live results from all three by-elections here.

8:01 pm: The Elections Canada blackout has been lifted (since, you know, voters in Durham would be affected by how well the Green Party does in Calgary) and, with 15 polls reporting, we have a race in Calgary. Still extremely early, but Crockatt leads Locke by just 9 votes.

8:04 pm: I’m skeptical this will last, but with 20 polls reporting, the Liberals now lead in Calgary by 10 votes. The Conservatives look safe in Durham, but the NDP are running a surprisingly strong second there.

8:12 pm: While I’m glad to see Locke up, we should all be concerned that a Liberal win in Calgary was part of the ancient Mayans’ “end of the world in 2012″ prophecy.

8:17 pm: With 45 of 262 polls reporting, the Libs and Tories are now tied at 990 votes, with the Greens only 200 behind.

8:37 pm: As Crockatt begins to pull away, everyone will be blaming this one on the vote split, bringing on another round of “merger/single candidate” talk. My view? Just go to the preferential ballot. It would solve the vote split issue.

8:52 pm: Elections Canada has Crockatt up by 334 votes with over a third of the polls reporting, but tweets coming from (supposedly) Liberal HQ show the Grits in front.

9:06 pm: And the Greens now lead in Victoria! What a fun day for political junkies.

9:47 pm: Both the Elections Canada data and the on-the-ground reports appear to be converging to the same conclusion – a slim victory for Joan Crockatt.

10:02 pm: Before I sign off for the night, let me add a bit of historical context. Since 1968, there have been many instances of Liberal candidates earning around 30% of the vote in Calgary ridings – heck, Cam Stewart picked up 27.7% during the Ignatieff flame out election last year. But Bev Longstaff’s “record” of 32.6% could very well fall tonight, with Locke sitting at 33.2% right now.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in by elections, Federal Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

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9 Responses to By-Election Live Blog

  1. Brendan Dawe

    I wouldn’t write off Victoria so easily. Paul Summerville has been campaigning on a winning issue for Victorians-the secondary sewage plant, and I for one won’t be surprised if he rides a wave of raw sewage to victory tonight

    • CalgaryGrit

      If he does, then you’ve just given every media outlet across the country the perfect headline!

  2. Jordan

    I’d say Summerville will be lucky to break 20%, he may quite likely place fourth.

    Grant Humes is also quite the ispointment, Durham should be a competitive riding between the CPC & LPC.

    We’ll have to see if Harvey Locke can pull out a win.

    • CalgaryGrit

      Yeah, I’ve heard predictions the Liberals would finish 4th in Victoria as well.

      Durham will be interesting given the controversy there around the veterans signs. Given the CPC went to the effort of leaking an “internal memo”, they might be more concerned about the riding than we’d assume.

  3. Anthony Eyolfson

    No matter what happens in Calgary Centre, the Conseratives have gotten a scare, and they may have to finally admit the “Majority” of Canadians don’t agree with their Policies.

  4. David Roberts

    Voter turnout in Calgary Centre will be about 30% vs 55% in the 2011 election.

  5. Ted

    I’m still optimistic about Calgary Centre. If Locke is right and the advance votes haven’t been counted, I do think he could win, especially since it avoided all the Trudeau/McGuinty controversy.

  6. CalgaryGrit

    Locke just conceded. Victoria still up for grabs.

  7. Jordan

    So I was wrong, Summerville couldn’t even crack 15%.

    It’s interesting to note that the Liberals never had contested nominations in Victoria or Durham, and it both cases had dreadful results and actually lost support. In Calgary they had to strong nominees, and I believe two others, for the nomination, and there was interest in the race since earlier the Summer. The fact that there was little interest in being the Liberal nominee in two risings the party recently held is an issue, and people should realize it.

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