IT’S A RACE! New poll shows emerging three-way race in Calgary-Centre by-election.

Calgary-Centre By-Election candidates Joan Crockatt, Harvey Locke, and Chris Turner.
Calgary-Centre By-Election candidates Joan Crockatt, Harvey Locke, and Chris Turner.

A new survey conducted by Forum Research shows a three-way race in the Calgary-Centre by-election between Conservative Joan Crockatt, Liberal Harvey Locke, and Green Chris Turner.

As reported by the Globe & Mail, the November survey of 376 randomly selected residents in Calgary-Centre showed Ms. Crockatt with 32% to 30% for Mr. Locke and 23% for Mr. Turner. New Democrat Dan Meades was in fourth place with 12%.

The survey is considered to be accurate by plus or minus five percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

If this new survey is to be believed, then the November 26 vote could be much more exciting than most political watchers, including myself, had previously predicted.

A similar survey conducted by Forum Research in October found Ms. Crockatt with 48% to 28% for Mr. Locke, 11% for Mr. Turner, and 8% for Mr. Meades. Another survey from Forum Research conducted in August found the Conservatives with 44% to 21% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP, and 12% for the Greens.

It appears that within a matter of months, the 40% margin of victory earned by former Conservative MP Lee Richardson in the 2011 federal election and 23% margin for the Conservatives found in the September survey may have completely evaporated.

It is always important to approach surveys, like this interactive voice response (IVR) survey, with a healthy dose of skepticism. Survey results are a snapshot of the opinions of a surveyed group of individuals at a given moment in time. This said, surveys like this one can be an important indicator of trends.

A close race could increase the importance of the 1CalgaryCentre campaign if progressive voters see an opportunity to coalesce behind one of the main opposition candidates. Although 1CalgaryCentre was initially ignored and ridiculed by the campaigns, it has played a central role in the debate around vote-splitting in the riding. On November 22, the group will hold its “selection vote” which allows voters in Calgary-Centre to register and select their choice from the progressive candidates running in the by-election.

Harvey Locke Bob Rae Liberal Calgary-Centre (photo from Mr. Locke's Facebook Page)
Harvey Locke and Bob Rae.

As this contest enters its final two weeks, Ms. Crockatt’s two main opponents have taken aim at their mutual opponent and each other.

Ms. Crockatt’s tacit support of the Wildrose Party in the spring provincial election appears to have driven a number of moderate Tories away from her campaign in the downtown Calgary riding. Her campaign manager, William McBeath, is the Wildrose Party’s Political Operations and Communications Director.

Mr. Turner’s campaign has criticized Mr. Locke for not living in the riding (he lives in Banff) and Mr. Locke’s campaign has accused Mr. Turner of splitting the anti-conservative vote in the riding. All campaigns have made use of social media, Mr. Locke’s campaign recently launched a Tumblr for Calgarians to show their support for his campaign.

While Ms. Crockatt’s and Mr. Locke’s campaigns have mainly focused on the tried and true strategy of doorknocking, Mr. Turner has incorporated some tactical and guerrilla style techniques into his campaign, which has helped create an air of excitement around the Green Party candidate (Mr. Turner has been seen delivering flash speeches on Calgary transit buses and holding numerous intimate coffee and wine and cheese parties).

Chris Turner Linda Johnson Green Party Calgary-Centre
Calgary-Glenmore PC MLA Linda Johnson (left) stopped by Chris Turner’s (right) campaign office to visit her daughter (centre), who is volunteering on the Green campaign (Photo by @rottonchild on Instagram).

Meanwhile, all parties have benefited from high-profile visits. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney met with groups of seniors in the riding with Ms Crockatt today. Conservative MPs Michelle Rempel and Blake Richards joined Mr. Crockatt on the campaign trail last week

Outgoing Liberal leader Bob Rae campaigned with Mr. Locke today and leadership candidate Justin Trudeau is making a second appearance in Calgary-Centre on November 19. Former Ontario MP Martha Hall Findlay is expected to used Calgary as her launch pad into the Liberal leadership campaign.

Mr. Turner has benefited from the support of key organizers from Mayor Naheed Nenshi‘s 2010 election campaign. On November 17, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and famous environmentalist David Suzuki will be attending a “Turning Point” rally at Scarboro United Church in support of Mr. Turner’s candidacy. Mr. Turner was event pictured in a photo online with Calgary-Glenmore PC MLA Linda Johnson, whose daughter is volunteering with the Green Party campaign.

Meanwhile, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair made an appearance at a packed rally tonight to support Mr. Meades campaign in Calgary-Centre. Mr. Meades, the director of Vibrant Communities Calgary, was also joined on the campaign trail by Edmonton-Calder MLA David Eggen last week.

26 thoughts on “IT’S A RACE! New poll shows emerging three-way race in Calgary-Centre by-election.”

  1. I hope the potential Green & NDP voters look at this and decide to back Liberal candidate Harvey Locke, to put him over the top for a win. And that’s coming from me, a longtime New Democrat.

    To have any progressive candidate this close to winning a federal seat in Calgary is quite exciting. I hope Mr. Locke can pull it off. A Conservative loss would certainly shake up the federal scene a bit. Be nice to see Harper’s Cons stop taking Alberta for granted.

  2. Yes, Harvey Locke is a long-time Banffite but he and his wife DO live in the riding, having moved into a condo in Calgary Centre before the by-election was called.

  3. It’s interesting that in the U.S., the far right, with 48 percent of the vote, could not win the presidency, though it still controls the House of Representatives. In Canada, 39 percent was enough to get Harper a majority and the continued division on the centre-left will likely keep the Tories in power long enough for them to leave a lasting legacy of social destruction. A Conservative loss in Calgary Centre might perhaps portend a better future for Canada. Harvey Locke, who leads the pack on the divided centre-left in that constituency, is also fortunately the candidate with the greenest record. It would be especially ironic if Crockatt were to win because the Green Party, which is as partisan as any party, preferred to let an oil company tool defeat an environmentalist with a real chance of winning.

  4. The problem is that polling has proven itself to be horrendous.

    Remember when Harper was supposed to win a third minority and instead won a majority?

    Remember when Daniell Smith’s Wildrose Party was supposed to win a landslide majority and lost the election altogether?

    Remember when the PQ were supposed to get a majority and instead they barely got a minority?

    Or most recently…Remeber when Romney was supposed to win the Presidency. All those polls showed him leading by a slim margin and then bam! He got less votes than McCain in 2008.

    Polling sucks, bad. For all we know the NDP candidate could be in the lead. Don’t see how one left-of-centre pick will be possible.

  5. Factcheck – Chris Turner penned a personal attach literature against Harvey Locke. Not his supports, not a surrogate. It was Chris attacking Harvey. Harvey has never and will never stoop to this level.

    What was the attack about?

    Well he discredited Harvey for caring too much about nature. Not being from Calgary. And not having a chance at winning in Calgary.

    So lets set the facts straight

    1. Harvey is a born and raised Calgarian and left calgary as one of its most well regarded civic leaders and after having a highly successful career in business.

    2. Since then we has been spending his time across the world as an internationally recognized conservationist, and should be a source of pride for every western progressive!

    3. Harvey is within the margin of error and CAN WIN THIS RACE!

    So, if you are a Green or NDP voter here is what you need to ask yourself.

    Are you looking for ideological purity or you ready to finally win a seat at the table and send a pragmatic western progressive to represent you in Ottawa? Do you want someone who runs against Calgary’s past or someone who embraces Calgary’s past and is eager to build a political vision that is respectful of it!

    I am not asking you to become a Liberal. I want you to take a step back and think about Canada and what this country needs.

    This country was built on the bond vision of Liberals just like Harvey Locke- from gay marriage to the charter of rights, from environmental protection to the canadian pension plan, from a strong independent foreign policy that kept us out of iraq to the moral leadership to balance our federal budget- Liberalism represents what Canadians can do when they come together across ideological divides and work for the betterment of this country.

    Harvey is not going to be the purest ideological choice. But if you are ready to put ideology aside and put nation first- then you know what you need to do on November 26.

  6. Jeff;

    RE: NDP could be in the lead/

    Polls at times are wrong. The chances are that this time they might be much closer that during the Provincial election.

    The very best shot for a progressive person to get elected in this by-election is to vote for the Liberal.

    Some in the NDP would rather see this go to Harper than to the Liberals.

    Edmonton has an orange riding, time for Calgary to have a bit of Red.

    Cheers

    Wade

  7. @Wade Izzard

    perhaps real progressives don’t consider the Liberals progressive! – Just look to BC Libs for “progressive” – so not!

  8. This is a great opportunity for Calgary to elect a progressive. Haarvey Locke is that and standss the best chance. Lets get behind him and make history.
    Would be a real wake up call for the Reform Harper conservatives.

  9. Isn’t this the same firm that predicted a massive Wild rose win? Just saying ! Show me a Nanos or Ipsos poll and then I’ll pay attention!

  10. Why do we consider the Liberals as being progressive? To me they are the other hat of the Conservatives though Harper has managed to call his Reform Party Conservatives.
    The Liberals are another corporate party. They do not represent Main Street but Bay Street.
    Neither the Greens nor the NDP can give up voting for their parties in order to vote Liberal as then they’d be voting against their beliefs.
    It is possible that were the NDP and Greens to unite under one candidate that that candidate might win.

  11. Turner is absolutely the class of this field. While it is essential to remove the Conservatives one by one in a cooperative fashion, in this by-election Turner is absolutely the most progressive and innovative candidate. The NDP isn’t in the game in this particular by-election, so it will come down to either the Liberals or Greens. I suggest Liberals and NDP voters unite around Turner in order to help double the power of Elizabeth May in the house(over the past year I can’t think of anyone who has fought to keep Harper accountable). I also highly recommend people pick up Turner’s books as well.

  12. The Liberals should reach out to New Democrats telling them that Liberals rallied around Linda Duncan in Edmonton to get her elected and that they should rally around Harvey Locke to get him elected.

  13. The NDP strategy both federally and provincially is to out-Liberal the Liberals in terms of watering down policies. That was clear in the last provincial election, and Thomas Mulcair has been pretty clear about his own non-socialist beliefs since day one. In the end, if the Tories stay in power long enough–and today’s Abacus Poll, cited in 308.com, shows unsurprisingly that Tory support may be as high as it was during the last election–, the base of existing programs from which a social democratic or liberal government would be working would be severely eroded. That’s what happened in Britain. Thatcher and Major were in power from 1979 to 1997 as the Labour and Liberal Democrat tribes refused to work together. By the time Labour got to power in 1997, running on a quite right-wing platform, the cupboard was bare. All so unnecessary if progressives, broadly defined (and I consider myself well to the left of the NDP), can manage to work cooperatively rather than like competing capitalist corporations.

  14. The question should be. Does Calgary really need on more trained back bench seal for the P.M. to push around (but wouldn’t have to because she is so conservative).

    Edmonton Centre has Laurie Hawn as its M.P. The man took out Former Liberal Cabinet Minster Anne McLellan. Who was by far more effective for her riding, the city and a province as a whole than Mr. Hawn. She was one could argue better than the 26 other M.P’s plus Harper than we have now in government.

    Calgary gets to be home for M.P’s like Anders & Kenny. The Calgary is a smarter more progressive place who needs an opposition voice to put the city back on the political radar of Prime Minster Harper.

    Nothing would be more shocking than sending a Liberal M.P. to Ottawa. There has not been one since 1968 and the rest of Canada would notice it.

    That kind of a win would help the Liberals and the N.D.P and the Greens.

    I also think that if the CPC wins it will turn out to be a pyrrhic victory for the CPC cause by the hubris of the CPC taking the voters of Calgary for granted election after election.

    Joe Clark was able to show that the P.C. party was still alive and Calgary was not as right wing a place as people think.

    The conservative riding and their choice of Joan is the reason they are on such shaky ground now.

    Now matter what the outcome of this election. I think change will come to Calgary in future elections. That the standards of who should became an M.P. will be higher, a standards set by the voters in the city.

    I am going to end my post because I am becoming much too long winded in it.

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