Friday, June 24, 2016

The Pollcast: The Liberals and their digital revolution

For years, the Conservatives beat their rivals at the ballot box thanks in part to their superior skills at slicing and dicing the electorate. They learned a lot about their potential supporters and appealed to them as consumers. Then they reaped the electoral rewards.

But their election-winning strategy hit a wall in 2015 when the Liberals finally caught up in the data wars and employed new and risky advertising strategies with success.

"Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them," originally published in 2013, delves into how politics and marketing have come together in Canada.

Susan Delacourt, columnist for the Toronto Star and iPolitics and author of the book, joins me to discuss the new chapters in her updated edition that look at how the Liberals won in 2015.

You can listen to the podcast here and subscribe to hear future episodes here.

Uniting Wildrose and the PCs in Alberta no easy task for Jason Kenney

Jason Kenney might be planning to leave federal politics to enter the fray in Alberta, riding in as a white knight to unite the divided right and defeat Rachel Notley's governing New Democrats.

It may prove even more difficult than many think.

Kenney, a former high-profile cabinet minister in Stephen Harper's government, has been widely seen as a likely front-runner in the race to replace the departed Conservative leader.

Instead, the job vacancy that Kenney might now be hoping to fill is the leader of Alberta's Progressive Conservatives — a position abandoned by Jim Prentice after the PCs, who had governed the province uninterrupted from 1971, were reduced to third-party status in the 2015 election.

The party that vaulted ahead and currently occupies the role of the Official Opposition is Wildrose, led by former Conservative MP Brian Jean. Kenney would need to absorb Wildrose into the PCs in order to unite the right and create a common front to fight the NDP.

Wildrose, however, is not much inclined to be absorbed. And Brian Jean doesn't want to go anywhere. With more seats (22 compared to nine for the PCs) and more money in the bank, he could easily make the argument that it is the PCs that need to sacrifice themselves.

You can read the rest of this article here.

British voters split on Brexit referendum vote, but Remain may have edge: polls

The tumultuous and divisive referendum campaign on the future of the United Kingdom's place in the European Union comes to a fittingly tense and uncertain end Thursday, as polls suggest it could be decided by the narrowest of margins.

But after some harrowing days on an increasingly negative campaign trail that seemed to be leaning towards Brexit — interrupted by the tragic and violent murder of Labour MP Jo Cox — the edge may be back with the Remain camp.

In the last six polls published by members of the British Polling Council before Wednesday, the Remain side has averaged 45.5 per cent support. The Leave campaign follows less than two points behind at 43.8 per cent. On average, 10 per cent of voters remain undecided.

You can read the rest of this Brexit analysis here.

Donald Trump slumps in polls after Orlando

If Donald Trump believed that the Orlando shooting and a renewed focus on terrorism would help boost his sagging presidential campaign, polls suggest it has had no such impact.

In fact, his reaction to the tragedy may be hurting him.

The presumptive Republican nominee is now trailing rival Hillary Clinton in CBC's weighted average of U.S. polls by a greater margin than two weeks ago. His support stands at 43.2 per cent among decided registered or likely voters, compared to 49.3 per cent for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

You can read the rest of this U.S. politics analysis here.