Liberals hope for upset in Calgary Centre byelection
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:10PM EST
Hoping for a surprise upset in the upcoming federal byelection in Calgary Centre, the Liberals brought in leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau on Tuesday to boost the chances of local candidate Harvey Locke.
The riding has been Conservative for more than four decades, but a recent Forum Research poll put Locke at 30 per cent support -- just five points behind Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt.
That suggests a dramatic turnaround from the last federal election when Conservative incumbent Lee Richardson took 58 per cent of the vote, and the Liberals came in a distant second with just 18 per cent.
All this has left Locke a contender, as he buckles down for the final days of the campaign. The byelection is on Nov. 26.
“It’s a two-horse race,” Locke said as he and Trudeau met with Liberal supporters at a campaign rally.
Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Crockatt shrugged off the young Trudeau’s presence. She said the riding has fared well under the Conservatives.
“Conservatives have always represented Calgary very, very well,” she said.
Political scientists agree that if the Liberals win the byelection it would represent a huge upset.
“This is Tory heartland, this is something they take for granted and it would certainly be an explosion heard around the country,” said Prof. David Taras.
Taras said that the riding, with its young population, is not your typical Calgary neighbourhood.
Throughout the campaign, Crockatt has come under fire for missing many of the debates, including one organized by the city’s mayor.
But Crockatt says that what really matters is how candidates connect with voters on the ground.
“It’s about talking to voters one on one, because really you have to sell yourself individually,” she said.
With a report from CTV Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks