Ron Liepert, who recently defeated incumbent Rob Anders in the Calgary Signal Hill Conservative nomination, is all but guaranteed to win a seat in the House of Commons in 2015, says a Calgary pollster.
- Ron Liepert beats Rob Anders, tells Jason Kenney to 'mind his own business'
- Ron Liepert defeats Rob Anders in Calgary Signal Hill Tory nomination
Liepert trounced six-term incumbent Anders in a controversial race on Saturday to stand for election next year.
Conservative Party sources told CBC News Liepert won with about 75 per cent of the vote.
Given how the riding has voted in the past, Bruce Cameron says it's extremely likely Liepert will be heading to Ottawa in 2015.
"Probably about 99.5 per cent, I would think," said Cameron, president of polling firm Return On Insight.
'A popular guy'
"That riding, traditionally, always votes Conservative and Ron Liepert is a popular guy in that riding. He's represented it provincially as well."
New federal riding divisions created the Calgary Signal Hill riding.
Anders, who had represented Calgary West for 17 years, had to re-seek the Tory nomination in order to have a chance at re-election.
Now having lost, Anders will remain MP for Calgary West until the next election in 2015. It's not yet clear whether he will rule out running for another Tory nomination in another riding.
Cameron says Anders has had a long political career and has defeated some prominent Calgarians during that time — including former Alberta premier Alison Redford and former Calgary mayor Dave Bronconnier.
In light of that, he says Liepert and his team should be feeling good about their win.
"There was a long line of very good politicians who took on Anders and lost," he said. "To knock him off is no small feat."
To top it off, Liepert took aim at one of the most powerful members of Stephen Harper's caucus Saturday night.
Moments after the results showed he had won by a comfortable margin, Liepert took exception to the fact that federal cabinet heavyweight Jason Kenney had endorsed Anders during the race.
'Kenney should mind his own business'
"Quite frankly I think Minister Kenney should mind his own business," said Liepert. "He should go into his own riding and try and get re-elected in his own riding and quit monkeying around at other nominations ... anywhere in this province."
"It's none of his business."
Calgary pollster Janet Brown says the federal Conservatives are now facing a fundamental problem.
"I think the worry is divisiveness within the caucus. And you know Ron Liepert — he'll speak his mind," she said.
"It feels to me that the Conservatives have just swapped one brand of controversy for another.”
For now, Liepert says he plans to step out of the spotlight and let Anders serve his last 15 months as MP.