By Riley Hill
Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt won the Calgary Centre by-election on Nov. 26, defeating Liberal candidate Harvey Locke by just over a thousand votes. The win was a close, three-way race between the Conservative, Liberal and Green candidates in a district that has consistently voted conservative since its creation in 1966.
Crockatt received 36.9 per cent of the vote, with Locke close behind at 32.7 per cent. Green Party candidate Chris Turner also made a strong showing, receiving 25.6 per cent of the vote. The NDP, Libertarian and independent candidates received under five per cent collectively.
There was a low voter turnout, with fewer than 30 per cent of eligible voters showing up to the polls.
Crockatt is a former journalist who used to work on the editorial board of the Calgary Herald.
The 36.9 per cent that Crockatt received was significantly lower than the 57.7 per cent former Conservative Calgary Centre MP Lee Richardson received during the 2011 federal election. Richardson left the spot vacant to take a position as Premier Alison Redford’s principal secretary.
Calgary has not elected a non-conservative MP since 1968, when Liberal Patrick Mahoney won in Calgary South.
The tight race leading up to the election received national attention. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Liberal Party leadership frontrunner Justin Trudeau both made visits to the riding during the Calgary Centre campaign.