Credits: EDWARD DAWSON/QMI AGENCY
Calgary Centre, a Tory stronghold since its creation in 1968, maintained its longstanding shade of blue on Monday night.
Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt — now Conservative MP Joan Crockatt — won the battle for the seat being watched from one coast of the country to the other as federal party leaders swooped in to tout their chosen ones.
The victory in Monday’s byelection solidifies Crockatt as successor to the riding’s previous MP, Lee Richardson, who vacated the seat in June this year.
At about 10:15 p.m., Liberal candidate Harvey Locke conceded, down 1,300 votes from Crockatt with fewer than 30 polls left to report in.
The new Tory MP also handily defeated Green Party candidate Chris Tucker and NDP candidate Dan Meades, as well as independent candidate Antoni Grochowski and Libertarian Party candidate Tony Prashad.
Duane Bratt, political scientist at Mount Royal University, said Sunday the race in Calgary Centre was “the closest race of any Calgary riding in a very, very long time.”
For a few brief moments as the first of the polls reported in, Locke took a slim lead over Crockatt, though the Tory candidate moved ahead soon after and her advantage in numbers slowly but surely extended as the night went on.
Shortly after 9:30 p.m., Turner sent word he’d conceded the race to Crockatt, sending his congratulations.
“We changed this city, the way it looks at federal politics and the way the rest of the country looks at Calgary’s politics,” Turner said.
“We were defeated in the polls, but we did not lose anything today.”