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Federal election 2015: Calgary’s 3 ridings to watch

For decades it’s been known as “Fortress Calgary” with Tory blue as the colour of choice, only broken up by a decade of Reform Party wins.

Right-leaning MPs were almost guaranteed a job as the Liberal brand was buried with Pierre Trudeau’s National Energy Program.

But three days before the 2015 federal election, polls suggest there are three ridings in which Calgarians could see a shift towards the Liberals—led by another Trudeau.

Calgary Centre

This is a riding to watch, as Conservative MP Joan Crockatt, elected in a 2012 by-election, works to keep her seat. In August, Crockatt’s decision to march in Calgary’s Pride parade was criticized because she’d voted against legislation aimed at improving transgender rights. She bowed to pressure and announced she wouldn’t participate in the parade.

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Crockatt is facing Liberal Kent Hehr, a lawyer who easily won the provincial riding of Calgary-Buffalo in 2008 and 2012, despite the fading fortunes of the Liberal party provincially.

With the Bow River as its northern boundary, the riding now begins at 37 Street S.W. and goes east to the river. The southern boundary runs along Glenmore Trail.

Watch below: It’s been almost 50 years since a federal liberal won a seat in Calgary, but as Global’s Doug Vaessen reports, the winds of change are blowing in the west.

Calgary Confederation

Boundary redistribution meant Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, who currently represents many of the voters, is now running in Calgary Nose Hill.  Former provincial MLA Len Webber is running for the Conservatives. He resigned his provincial seat after winning the federal nomination, and after leaving the PC caucus in protest over then-Premier Alison Redford’s leadership.

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The Liberals have Matt Grant, who is reportedly running a strong campaign, though recent Ipsos projections suggest the riding is leaning towards Conservatives.

This riding is north of the Bow River, bounded by Sarcee Trail, John Laurie Boulevard, McKnight Boulevard, and Deerfoot Trail. Much of this area was previously represented by Calgary Centre-North, with parts of Calgary West, and a small part that was formerly part of Calgary Nose Hill.

Calgary Skyview

This new riding closely resembles the former riding of Calgary Northeast, which has been represented by Conservative MP Devinder Shory since 2008. He is running for re-election here, but it may be the Liberal Party’s best shot at stealing a riding in Calgary.

“I’m very concerned about child poverty. And therefore, I’m finding the Liberal position to be very attractive,” said voter Darlene Montgomery, who lives in Calgary Skyview.

This area had the strongest Liberal support of any riding in 2011, and the Liberal candidate Darshan Kang is already well-known here. Kang represented Calgary-McCall provincially from 2008-2015, and did not re-offer provincially in order to campaign for a federal seat.

This riding covers the northeast corner of the city, ending at 32 Avenue N.E. This riding includes much of the former Calgary Northeast, which includes new communities (new families) and a sizable immigrant population.

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With a file from Stefan Keyes

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