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Canada Kenney cruises to victory in Calgary-Lougheed byelection

07:06  15 december  2017
07:06  15 december  2017 Source:   calgaryherald.com

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Lougheed By - election Closing Argument - Duration: 3:04. Jason Kenney wins byelection in resounding victory - Duration: 2:02.

110717-no_object-1108_col_thomson-W.jpg:  © Graham Thomson

Jason Kenney continued his steamroller run through Alberta politics Thursday as he convincingly won the Calgary-Lougheed byelection.

The United Conservative Party leader was from the start the heavy favourite in the race — triggered by the resignation of UCP MLA Dave Rodney to make way for Kenney — and with most of the polls reporting the former federal cabinet minister had just over 70 per cent of the vote.

NDP candidate Phillip van der Merwe, a family doctor, was a distant second, while Liberal Leader David Khan was in third.

The byelection will mark the fourth major win for Kenney in the past nine months, following his victory in the Progressive Conservative leadership in March, successful referendums on uniting the PC and Wildrose parties this summer, and his triumph in the UCP leadership race in October.

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Voters in Calgary - Lougheed headed to the polls on Thursday to pick a replacement for Dave Rodney, who stepped down as the district's MLA in November, and UCP leader Jason Kenney proved victorious in the byelection .

^ " Kenney cruises to victory in Calgary - Lougheed byelection ". ^ "MLA Rick Fraser joins Alberta Party, launches bid to be leader". ^ a b "Former Alberta MLA Don MacIntyre resigned following sexual assault, sexual interference charges".

Calgary-Lougheed was the first electoral test of the UCP, though the south Calgary riding has long been a stronghold for both provincial and federal conservatives.

In a recent interview, Kenney said he’d be satisfied with finishing “one vote ahead,” but he was feeling optimistic about victory.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm,” he said.

“I’ve run in seven elections in Calgary and I can’t recall a better response.”

There were seven candidates in the field, with Green Party Leader Romy Tittel, Alberta Reform candidate Lauren Thorsteinson and Independents Wayne Leslie and Larry Heather also in the race.

But from the start, the byelection has been all about Kenney, the longtime Conservative MP and cabinet minister who entered provincial politics last year on a quest to unite the Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose to ensure the defeat of Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government.

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Jason Kenney continued his steamroller run through Alberta politics Thursday, easily winning the Calgary - Lougheed byelection and setting his sights on Premier Warren Piers 239d ago. Kenney cruises to victory in Calgary - Lougheed byelection calgaryherald.com/news/politics/… ahhh fuck.

This is interesting! Forget sovereignty, a new political divide is ready to split Quebeckers. Kenney cruises to victory in Calgary - Lougheed byelection .

Kenney had said the byelection would be a chance to send a message to Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government, which he has lashed for what he calls economic and fiscal mismanagement — taking particular aim at the government’s carbon levy and growing debt levels.

With his win, Kenney will now be able to go toe-to-toe with Notley in the legislature over the next year in the run-up to the 2019 provincial election.

On Wednesday, Notley acknowledged that the NDP had little chance of winning the riding but said she was proud of van der Merwe’s campaign.

The byelection battle was an opportunity for the NDP to see whether it has regained political traction from a recovering provincial economy after two years of recession.

Since taking office in 2015, the NDP has lost in two other Calgary byelections in seats formerly held by PCs. In the last vote, in Calgary-Greenway, the NDP finished fourth behind the PCs, Wildrose and Liberals.

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Jason kenney wins calgary - lougheed byelection Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press Published Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:12AM EST Last Updated Fri

Jason Kenney won the Calgary - Lougheed byelection (Jason Kenney /Twitter). After four days of advance voting and a Voting Day on December 14, United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney pulled ahead of the other candidates in a decisive victory on Thursday night.

With Calgary-Lougheed the first byelection fought under tough new spending rules brought in by the NDP government, both the New Democrats and UCP were expected to hit the spending limits.

“The party certainly brought its A-game to this,” said van der Merwe, a political neophyte who said he wasn’t cowed by facing off with the experienced Kenney.

“I have never shied away from a good challenge.”

The byelection contest was generally low-key, though the one forum of the campaign took a few raucous turns.

But the campaign did serve as a prelude to the 2019 general election, with the parties testing out issues and themes ahead of the next vote. Kenney went after the NDP’s fiscal and economic record, while the New Democrats have slammed the UCP as social conservatives who will slash public services.

Khan, meanwhile, saw opportunity to attract voters disenchanted with what he said were the extremes of the UCP and NDP.

Turnout is generally low in byelections but voting in advance polling was higher in the riding than during the 2015 election. With electronic voting tabulators being used in a pilot project, results came in quickly.

jwood@postmedia.com

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