Calgary-Glenmore tie means voters could return to polls

The NDP challenger and PC incumbent in Calgary-Glenmore both ended the night with exactly 7,015 votes with all 94 polls reporting.

Riding on its way to recount after NDP and PC candidates each record 7,015 votes

In a historic shift in the political landscape, the NDP won a majority government in the Alberta 2015 election. There was a tie in the riding of Calgary-Glenmore between PC incumbent Linda Johnson, left, and the NDP’s Anam Kazim. (Alberta Progressive Conservative Party/NDP)

The election in Calgary-Glenmore is tied.

Both PC incumbent Linda Johnson and NDP challenger Anam Kazim ended the night with exactly 7,015 votes with all 94 polls reporting.

It's just one of the many surprises to emerge from the Alberta 2015 election.

What now?

To start, the Calgary-Glenmore riding will have a recount. If that fails, the next step is a judicial recount.

But if there is no clear winner after that, under the Election Act, the Chief Electoral Officer can inform the speaker of a tie and declare that a vacancy exists.

That would mean voters in Calgary-Glenmore could get the chance to cast a ballot again in a byelection.

Historic ties in elections

Though it's not very common, there have been a handful of dead heats in previous elections in Canada around the world.

Some were decided with voters returning to the polls, others by the whatever method the returning officer for the riding in question chose. Sometimes, that involved flipping a coin or drawing a straw.

  • A tie in the 1887 federal election in Joliette, Que., between the Tory and Liberal candidates was broken by the returning officer's vote. The Tory candidate won. The same thing happened in 1963 in the Quebec riding of Pontiac-Témiscamingue, now called Pontiac. 

  • In 1896 in the N.W.T. federal riding of Assiniboia West, which no longer exists, the Tory candidate was elected by the returning officer's tie-breaking vote.

  • The 1994 federal election resulted in a dead heat between the Parti Québécois and Liberal candidates in Saint-Jean. A special revote a month later settled it for the PQ's Roger Paquin.

  • In 2013, a coin toss in San Teodoro, a municipality in the Philippines, broke a tie between two candidates in the mayoral race who each garnered 3,236 votes.


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