Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Pollcast: Conservative leadership race begins to heat up

The list of contestants in the running for the Conservative Party leadership has ballooned to 12. One official debate has already been held and the contours of the race are starting to become clearer.

So who is standing out from the pack with six months to go before members make their choice?

The dozen contestants include four MPs from Ontario (Michael Chong, Kellie Leitch, Erin O'Toole and Lisa Raitt), two from Quebec (Maxime Bernier and Steven Blaney), two from Saskatchewan (Andrew Scheer and Brad Trost) and one from Alberta (Deepak Obhrai), along with two former MPs (Chris Alexander and Andrew Saxton) and Manitoba physician Dan Lindsay. 

It makes for a crowded field and a need for contestants to carve out a niche of their own. Leitch has pushed her screening of immigrants for "anti-Canadian values," while Bernier has proposed a series of libertarian-style policies. Chong has put forward a carbon-pricing plan and Blaney has endorsed a ban on the niqab in the public service and attacked Bernier over his views on supply management. Scheer and O'Toole have each touted a long list of caucus endorsements, while Trost has claimed the socially conservative ground in the race.

Is any of this moving the needle among party members?

To break it down, Conservative insiders Tim Powers of Summa Strategies and Chad Rogers of Crestview Strategy are back with host Éric Grenier on this week's episode of the Pollcast.

You can listen to the podcast heresubscribe to future episodes here, and listen to past episodes here.