August 2, 2015 9:36 pm
Updated: August 2, 2015 10:33 pm

Still a conservative stronghold? Alberta prepares for heated federal election campaign

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WATCH ABOVE: Federal election campaign begins for battleground of Calgary. Gary Bobrovitz explains.

 CALGARY – Federal candidates looking to secure a seat in parliament are gearing up in Alberta for what will no doubt be a hard fought 11-week election campaign.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper announced Sunday morning that the Oct. 19 election was officially underway.

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That means the next 78 days will be a test of patience for candidates and for voters.

A few potential MP’s around Calgary have already started door knocking and now are kicking it up into full gear.

READ MORE: 4 things you need to know about the 2015 federal election

Will Alberta again demand political change on the heels of a historic provincial election?

Calgary-Centre had long been a conservative stronghold, but they only narrowly won the federal riding in a byelection in November of 2012.

“This is going to be about which leader do you trust to keep Canada’s economy going and which leader do you trust to keep you and your family safe,” said Conservative MP Joan Crockatt.

Crockatt beat out Liberal candidate Harvey Locke in the 2012 byelection for Calgary-Centre by only 4.2 per cent of the vote.

“Liberals have a great opportunity to win three or four seats, in particular Calgary-Centre. The electorate should remember that – elect a few Liberals to parliament and, my goodness, this city is going to get all kinds of attention,” said Kent Hehr, the current Liberal candidate for that riding.

A federal Liberal hasn’t been elected in Calgary since the 1960s and there has never been an NDP MP.

“We have certainly heard that even though this has been a very conservative area traditionally, that people have been taking a hard look at the NDP,” said Laura Weston, NDP candidate for Calgary Midnapore.

Calgary will have ten ridings; two have been added since the last election. Almost half of them have no incumbents.

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