Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Pollcast: The politics of the budget


In the budget presented by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Wednesday, the Liberal government laid out its plans for the future of Canada's economy, with a focus on skills training and innovation.

But some of those plans extend to well after the 2019 federal election. The calculations the Liberals have baked into the budget could be at the whim of what happens in the interim, including changes in the world economy and the unpredictability of Donald Trump's presidency.

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So how does the budget position the Liberals politically? Does it give them something to sell to voters between now and 2019? Will the government's plan to stay in deficit well into the next decade hamstring the Liberals and give the opposition parties a vulnerability to exploit?

To break down the politics of Budget 2017, I'm joined by the CBC's David Cochrane, Catherine Cullen and Susan Lunn.

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

Leitch slides, O'Leary gains in Conservative Leadership Index


Kellie Leitch is falling back and Kevin O'Leary is moving forward in their bids to lead the Conservative Party, according to the latest update to the Conservative Leadership Index.

Fellow contenders Andrew Scheer and Erin O'Toole also improved their standings in the index thanks to some key political endorsements.

The index is a composite of four leadership race metrics (endorsements, contributors, fundraising and polls) that has been developed to help gauge the state of the 14-candidate race to replace Stephen Harper as the party's permanent leader.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Alberta, Quebec could carry more weight in NDP leadership race than in 2012


When New Democrats last voted to select a new leader in 2012, most of the party's eligible voting members were in British Columbia and Ontario. An analysis of NDP donors suggests these two provinces will again carry the most weight in this year's leadership vote, but that Quebec and Alberta might be more important than they were five years ago.

The party did not provide a breakdown of its current membership, but looking at the regional distribution of NDP donors provides clues to how the profile of that membership might have changed since 2012 — and what that might mean for the four candidates currently in the running.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Pollcast: The race for the NDP leadership is on


The four candidates for the NDP leadership debated for the first time on Sunday. The event kicked off a race that has been dormant for nearly a year. It won't come to a conclusion until October, when New Democrats decide who should replace Tom Mulcair as their leader.

The debate was a collegial affair. But did it provide any clues as to how this campaign might play out for the next seven months?

Unlike the Conservative leadership race, which has 14 candidates in the running, so far the NDP has a more manageable group to showcase: MPs Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton, Guy Caron and Peter Julian.

But that group may grow soon.

To help navigate the NDP leadership campaign, I'm joined again by NDP insiders Sally Housser of Navigator and Robin MacLachlan of Summa Strategies.

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

John Horgan's NDP leads the B.C. polls, if you believe them


The provincial election in British Columbia is now less than two months away. And that means the polls are back.

After the failure of the polls in the 2013 vote, British Columbians might be forgiven for looking at them with skepticism. But the performance of the polls since 2013 suggests there is no reason to assume they are unreliable or that British Columbians are somehow unpollable.

Nevertheless, there is justification for looking at the latest numbers with a fair bit of caution.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Pollcast: Is Jason Kenney's bid to unite the Alberta right about to begin?


If Jason Kenney is named the next leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives on March 18, it could mark the end of the once dominant Alberta PCs — and the beginning of a campaign that could result in a single Alberta Conservative Party taking on the governing New Democrats in 2019.

But while the chances of Kenney succeeding in achieving his short-term goal look good, his longer term aim of merging the PCs with Wildrose, a party led by Brian Jean, the leader of the Official Opposition in the Alberta legislature, will not be so simple.

To help break down the state of Alberta politics and what to expect in the coming months, I'm joined by Alberta pollster Janet Brown and Graham Thomson, columnist for the Edmonton Journal.

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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Maxime Bernier, Kevin O'Leary lead Conservative leadership field, data suggests


With less than two months to go before voting begins for the Conservative Party leadership, Maxime Bernier and Kevin O'Leary are the front-runners, according to an analysis of endorsement, fundraising and polling data.

Bernier narrowly leads O'Leary based on a composite of four metrics (endorsements, fundraising, contributors and polls) that estimates how much support each candidate would likely have on the first ballot if the leadership vote were held today — call it the Conservative Leadership Index.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Liberal support slides to lowest levels since 2015 election


Support for Justin Trudeau's Liberals has sharply declined over the last three months, dropping to its lowest levels since the last federal election.

The party has taken a hit in the polls in every region of the country, boosting both the Conservatives and New Democrats as a result. But despite the governing party's worsening fortunes, the Liberals still have as much support today as they did when they secured a majority government in October 2015.

You can read the rest of this article here.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Pollcast: 3 months to go in the Conservative leadership race


Kevin O'Leary was not one of the 13 candidates participating in the Conservative Party's leadership debate in Edmonton Tuesday, due to what he called its "bad format."

Those who did participate, struggled to be noticed on the cluttered stage — and with less than three months to go before the ballots are counted, candidates need to get noticed.

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O'Leary's decision to avoid the debate might have been the quintessential front runner's move, but O'Leary is far from being a runaway favourite for the leadership. Maxime Bernier is also widely seen to be in a strong position, while candidates such as Andrew Scheer, Lisa Raitt, Kellie Leitch, Erin O'Toole and Michael Chong are trying to secure second choice support that could keep them in the running.

Calls for the other candidates in the race to step aside are beginning to grow.

But will they be heeded?

To help lay out where things stand at this point in the race, I'm joined again by Conservative insiders Chad Rogers of Crestview Strategy and Tim Powers of Summa Strategies.

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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Conservative leadership debate in Edmonton the latest to showcase political manoeuvring


The Conservative leadership debates have not featured any of the mythical knockout punches that are supposed to win elections, but the subtle (and not so subtle) manoeuvring that will help decide the outcome has been on full display — most recently during Tuesday night's event in Edmonton.

And that includes Kevin O'Leary's decision to skip it.

Since the first official debate in Saskatoon on Nov. 9, the candidates have been up against each other 11 times. The party will hold one more official debate, and more local events are likely to be organized.

You can read the rest of this article here.