Conservatives managed to keep Calgary Centre in Tory hands, but if they want to hang on to it they can’t take it for granted.

University of Windsor Political Scientist Cheryl Collier says there are lessons to be learned in this narrow win.

Party faithful packed the Barley Mill in Eau Claire, watched and waited, as Liberal Challenger Harvey Locke maintained a close second.

By 11 p.m., after the votes were tallied, Joan Crockatt won by a narrow margin and became a Member of Parliament with just 36.9 per cent of popular support.

The riding’s former MP, Lee Richardson, won handily in 2011 with 57.7 per cent; Monday’s result is a huge loss in votes for what’s become the Conservative standard.

Liberal Harvey Locke finished second with 32.7 per cent of the vote, the Green Party’s Chris Turner finished third with 25.6 per cent and the NDP’s Dan Meade won just 3.8 per cent.

“I think they’re going to have to pay more attention to it than they thought they would and that’s a good thing for Calgary Centre, absolutely,” says Collier. “I think some people in Alberta are feeling a little bit overlooked.”

“It’s been such a stronghold for the Conservatives for many years, they took for granted that the vote would go their way and I think they needed to pay more attention to it,” she adds.

Collier says it was clear the Tories were worried when they tried to draw attention to a gaffe Liberal leadership front-runner Justin Trudeau made about Albertans two years ago.

The political expert says there are some in the party who will look at it as a fluke, but she thinks Prime Minister Stephen Harper is smarter than that.

“The brain trust that is the Conservative machine will not be taking it as granted moving forward as they thought they could,” she believes.

Mount Royal University Political Scientist Lori Williams says representation was the key issue in the campaign.

“I do think we’re starting to see the beginning of a shift in Calgary Centre,” she says. “Because with this amount of support for the other candidates, it’s sets a precedent that might provide a foundation to which they can build on in the future.”

Calgary Centre will go to the polls next, with the rest of the country, in 2015.

The federal Conservatives also won in the Ontario riding of Durham.

The New Democrats were victorious in Victoria.