Calgary stays Tory blue
Voters hand all but a few seats back to the Progressive Conservatives
Calgarians voted in droves on Monday to continue the Alberta Tory dynasty, with all but five of the city’s seats poised to go to Progressive Conservative candidates.
Despite widespread predictions that Alberta's largest city could be swept up in a green wave, Wildrose candidates won just two of 25 Calgary ridings.
Jeff Wilson took Calgary–Shaw and in Calgary–Fish Creek, Wildrose MLA Heather Forsyth — a former Tory who switched to sit with the Wildrose in 2010 — topped Progressive Conservative challenger Wendelin Fraser by just 74 votes.
Calgary–McCall was a toss-up until the very end, with Liberal incumbent Darshan Kang finally beating Wildrose candidate Grant Galpin by 671 votes.
Premier Alison Redford handily won her riding of Calgary–Elbow with over 56 per cent of the vote. Redford’s Wildrose challenger, investment professional James Cole, finished in second place with 27.5 per cent of the vote. Liberal Beena Ashar came in a distant third.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he planned to work with the Tories to secure a strong future for the city and the province.
"Congratulations to Premier Redford, congratulations to all the candidates and all the volunteers from all the parties for making democracy great and for having a really exciting election," he said.
The Liberals kept two of the party's four seats in Calgary.
Former Liberal leader David Swann won his seat again in Calgary–Mountain View, beating PC hopeful Cecilia Low by 43 per cent to 29 per cent.
And Liberal incumbent Kent Hehr was re-elected in the inner-city Calgary–Buffalo riding, besting his nearest rival, Tory Jamie Lall, by 41 per cent to 31 per cent of the vote.
Ken Hughes, the former chair of Alberta Health Services, won Calgary-West for the Progressive Conservatives with about 51 per cent of the vote. Wildrose candidate Andrew Constantinidis finished in second place with about 36 per cent of the vote.
In Calgary–Hays, former Calgary alderman and 2010 mayoral candidate Ric McIver was successful in his bid to go to Edmonton as a Tory MLA. He beat Wildrose candidate Wayne Anderson by about 55 per cent to 36 per cent of the vote.
In Calgary–Greenway, PC Manmeet Bhullar defeated Wildrose candidate Ron Leech, who drew criticism late in the campaign for saying he had an advantage as a Caucasian. A statement Leech made in 2004 — that to affirm homosexuality is an insult to God — also became controversial.
Wildrose MLA Paul Hinman lost his Calgary–Glenmore seat to Tory challenger Linda Johnson. Hinman won the district in a byelection in 2009, giving his party its first seat under the dome in Edmonton.
In the inner-city division of Calgary–Acadia, Tory candidate Jonathan Denis — who was solicitor general in the Tory government — narrowly defeated Wildrose candidate Richard Jones by 6,847 votes to 6,312 votes.
Jones had focused his campaign on pushing for the repeal of Bill 26, which tightened the restrictions against drunk driving.
Calgary–Shaw remained a battleground into the early hours of Tuesday morning, with Wildrose candidate Jeff Wilson finally beating PC Farouk Adatia by 502 votes.
Former CTV news anchor Sandra Jansen won the riding of Calgary-North West for the Tories. Jansen was working as Premier Redford’s communications manager when she won the riding nomination. Her closest rival was Wildrose candidate Chris Challis.
- An earlier version of this story wrongly attributed to Ron Leech a comment about homosexuals going to hell. It was actually Edmonton-South West Wildrose candidate Allan Hunsperger who said that.Apr 24, 2012 9:22 AM CT