Grant accepts defeat after ‘nail-biter’

After a close fight for the newly formed Calgary Confederation riding, Conservative Len Webber has beaten out Liberal Matt Grant.

In the Oct. 19 federal election, Webber edged ahead of Grant by 997 votes.

Webber, a former provincial MLA, celebrated with supporters at a northwest Calgary pub.

“It was a nail-biter all night long,” he said in an interview with the Calgary Herald.

Webber, however, wasn’t completely happy with the evening’s results.

“I’m elated (but) I don’t know what to say, nationally,” Webber said.

The Conservative party suffered major losses nationally, falling from 166 seats to 99 by the end of the night.

“All I know is we’re going to make (Trudeau) accountable,” the newly elected MP said.

Hundreds of Grant’s supporters gathered at the Red and White Club outside McMahon Stadium in Calgary, but after an evening of tense poll watching, the Liberal candidate conceded defeat to his conservative opponent.

“I remain optimistic that this is a progressive riding,” said Grant during his concession speech.

“With time we’ll continue to build relationships, either with me or somebody else.”

Although Grant and his supporters held out hope throughout the evening, it wasn’t enough. For some, the loss is indicative of a split among so-called progressive voters.

“Ten per cent of people voted Green in this constituency,” said Jennifer Fitzgerald, a supporter of Grant’s. “It’s just really frustrating when you look at the numbers here.”

“With time we’ll continue to build relationships, either with me or somebody else.” – Matt Grant

Grant and Webber were running against NDP candidate Kirk Heuser, Green party candidate, Natalie Odd, and Marxist-Leninst Party candidate Kevan Hunter.

Of the 66,807 votes counted in Calgary Confederation, Webber took 30,404 (45.5%) while Grant trailed close behind with 29,145 (43.6%). Heuser trailed in third place with 4,804.

More than 72 per cent of the 61,000 eligible voters in the riding cast ballots.

While Webber came to the race from a successful career as a provincial Tory MLA for Calgary Foothills, in northwest, Grant was taking his first run at elected office. He is the son-in-law of former Calgary mayor Al Duerr.

Prior to entering the race, Heuser worked as a reporter for CBC and CTV in Calgary.


About Nick Menz 4 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Nick Menz worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2015-16 academic year.