Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Pollcast: Kevin O'Leary, French debate shake up Conservative leadership race

The Conservative leadership campaign was shaken up on Wednesday when businessman and reality television personality Kevin O'Leary finally joined the race — just in time to miss Tuesday's French-language debate.

What impact will his candidacy have on a campaign in which none of the 13 other contestants have taken the mantle of the front runner?

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O'Leary faces many challenges. Name recognition, however, is not one of them — unlike some of his rivals. But O'Leary speaks little French and has just two months to sign up new members, while some of the other contestants, such as Maxime Bernier and Kellie Leitch, have already been at it for the better part of a year.

His lack of French was the reason he opted out of joining the campaign before the French-language debate. But apart from demonstrating the questionable linguistic skills of some of the contestants who participated, did the debate change the dynamics of the campaign in Quebec and outside of it?

To explain the significance of O'Leary's entry into the race, Conservative insiders Tim Powers of Summa Strategies and Chad Rogers of Crestview Strategy are back 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.


  1. I'm not convinced that O'Leary can get the leadership and if he does win the election. Short of a major collapse by Justin he's got the next election for sure.

    1. If the leadership election was public O'Leary might have a chance. As it is a closed door affair among party members O'Leary will have a tough time building a substantial base within the Conservative Party in time. One thing I will say about O'Leary; he has no qualms about going after Le Petit Trudeau and when he does plays the part of a formidable Opposition Leader.


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