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Race on for MP in Calgary Centre
Published Monday, November 26, 2012 6:26AM MST
Last Updated Monday, November 26, 2012 6:36PM MST
Residents in the riding of Calgary Centre are casting their vote in a hotly contested by-election that has long been held by a conservative party.
Voting in Calgary has been steady to replace former MP Lee Richardson, who left Ottawa to join Premier Alison Redford's government.
Political analysts are watching this riding closely as it has been a Conservative Party strong-hold for decades.
Candidates were out on the street over the weekend, trying to get the word out as much as possible before the vote on Monday.
Liberal Harvey Locke was out knocking on doors, trying to convince undecided voters to turn the riding over to the Liberals.
Locke says the race feels like a chuckwagon race. “All the outriders are with us; the wagons are there. The grandstand’s standing up and everyone’s cheering. One of us is gonna cross the finish line first and, obviously, I hope it’s me.”
Of the three byelections announced across Canada, Calgary-Centre was supposed to be the most predictable.
Politicial scientist Duane Bratt says that the race has become the most exciting and attracted some of politics’ biggest stars.
“If the Conservatives lose, it will be an earthquake, an electoral earthquake across this country,” Bratt says.
He says that Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt fared poorly at the all candidates meetings during the byelection – she skipped out on all but two.
Crockatt, however, says that doorknocking was her priority during the campaign and she was out over the weekend on the final day, meeting voters on their doorsteps.
“Well, you can see, when they say running for office, they actually mean running,” Crockatt says. “We are literally running from door to door, trying to connect with as many voters as we can before tomorrow.”
The two other main party candidates are Chris Turner of the Greens and New Democrat Dan Meades.
Voter turnout is expected to be very strong in the byelection.
There are two other byelections taking place in Canada – Victoria and Ontario’s Durham riding.