Voters in the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner riding vote in a federal byelection today. They’ll be choosing a successor to Conservative MP Jim Hillyer who died from a heart attack in his Parliament Hill office earlier this year.
The last time the Liberals won in the Medicine Hat area was in 1968 at the height of Trudeaumania. The sprawling Medicine Hat-Cardson-Warner riding was created for the 2015 election.
The Liberals are not expected to win today, but Mount Royal University political scientist Lori Williams says an appearance in the riding a week and a half ago by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could bring out some extra Liberal support. “For a variety of reasons. The fact there are more resources that are focused and concentrated in a byelection. People know it won’t affect the distribution of seats in the house. It won’t affect who will be the government. That it might mean, in this case, having a cabinet minister representing their constituency. For all those reasons the liberals have a greater chance than they would in a general election. But it’s still a longshot.”
Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose also visited the riding recently.
There are six candidates running for the seat, including Conservative Glen Motz and Liberal Stan Sakamoto. Others in the race include Libertarian candidate Sheldon Johnston, Christian Heritage Party Rod Taylor, Bev Waege of theNDP, and Kayne Cooper from the Rhinoceros Party