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PCs keep seat in Calgary-Greenway with byelection win
Published Wednesday, March 23, 2016 5:16AM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 23, 2016 1:52PM MDT
In a very tight race in the byelection in northeast Calgary, the PCs’ Prab Gill came out on top, with the ruling NDP’s candidate Roop Rai finishing fourth.
Gill won with 28 percent of the vote, just 335 votes ahead of Devinder Toor of the Wildrose, meaning that he will take on the seat that was vacated when Manmeet Bhullar, a veteran PC, lost his life in November.
Bhullar was one of only 10 PCs who were left after Rachel Notley and the NDP won a majority in last May's election and ended more than four straight decades of Conservative governments. He had held the seat since first being elected in 2008.
Khalil Karbani with the Liberals followed third (23 percent of the vote) and the NDP's Roop Rai finished in fourth (20 percent of the vote).
Gill says that the victory means that the PCs in Alberta are not over and done with.
“When we started this byelection, people basically wrote us off. They said a vote for PC was a waste of a vote, but we proved them wrong today, entirely.
"I knew we had enough to win this and carry on the work of our dear friend Manmeet," Gill said Tuesday, adding the support of Bhullar's family was crucial to his victory. "What I hope this win does is help us heal."
In a statement, Ric McIver, the interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives, congratulated Gill and welcomed him to caucus: "I am so pleased to know that ... Manmeet Bhullar's legacy of dedicated community service will live on."
Officials say that the voter turnout was very low, with just under 30 percent of eligible voters casting a ballot.
The loss marks the second straight loss for the NDP in byelections. The party also lost in Calgary-Foothills in September.
Prasad Panda of the Wildrose took the seat vacated when former Premier Jim Prentice resigned after his resounding defeat in the General Election.
Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman says with the second byelection loss, voters have sent a message to the NDP without risking a change in government.
Full byelection results can be found on the Elections Alberta website.
(With files from the Canadian Press)