Expect the status-quo in upcoming federal by-elections

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Is Trudeau-mania alive and well in Calgary-centre?

Are the Greens going to elect their second member of Parliament?

The answer to those questions is: likely not.

In less than two weeks, voters in three federal electoral districts will cast ballots to elect their new member of parliament.

For the most part, opinion polls have suggested that it will be the status-quo for all three ridings: Calgary centre and Durham will remain Conservative while Victoria is poised to stay NDP orange.

"In general, these are so-called safe ridings," Larry Bozinoff of Forum Research told the Globe and Mail in late October.

"So I definitely doubt that they are going to switch. The leading parties in each riding has just got a huge lead. So, protest vote and all that? No, there's not much of that going on."

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Here's an overview of the ridings, and what's expected to happen:


Can a non-Tory win a seat in the heart of Conservative-country?

The results of a another poll, published in the Globe and Mail Tuesday, suggests that it's possible — sort of.

"The Forum Research poll of 376 randomly selected residents puts [Conservative candidate] Ms. Crockatt in first place — but pegs her support at just 32 per cent, down from 48 per cent in a similar poll held two weeks earlier. Liberal candidate Harvey Locke had the backing of 30 per cent of those surveyed, while Green Party candidate Chris Turner received 23 per cent of recorded support in the Nov. 12 poll"

But, a closer look at the poll indicates a small sample size and high margin of error.

While the poll could be an indication of a tightening race, it would be a surprise if this long-time Conservative bastion turned a colour other than Tory blue.


Durham was held by former Conservative MP Bev Oda, who stepped down after a series of spending controversies.

Erin O'Toole , a lawyer, has replaced Oda as the Tory candidate running against former MPP and mayor Larry O'Connor (NDP), and  businessman Grant Humes (Liberals).  The Green Party isn't expected to be a factor.

Like Calgary-centre this riding is also expected to go back to the Conservatives: in 2011 Oda won her seat handily with 54 per cent of the vote.

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According to threehundredeight.com blogger Eric Grenier — Canada's version of Nate Silver — Victoria will likely remain in the hands of the NDP.

The latest Forum Research poll suggests Murray Rankin of the NDP will win with 47 per cent of the vote followed by the Greens' at 26 per cent,  the Liberals' with 14 per cent, and the Conservatives' at 12 per cent.

Grenier, however, suggests keeping an eye on the Green Party whose only MP — Elizabeth May — was elected in the riding next door. According to the Hill Times, environmentalist David Suzuki is expected to lend his hand to the campaign.

All three by-elections take place on November 26.