Frank McKenna is in Ottawa today for an informal and intimate dinner at a small Centretown restaurant. He’ll be meeting with political staffers from all four parties, journalists, civil servants, lobbyists and intellectuals, all of which are Atlantic Canadians.
The former New Brunswick Premier was smart to sit out for the last contest. But would McKenna steamroll Rae and Ignatieff in the next race?
Insiders say that McKenna would be a strong contender for the Liberal Party if he should ever become leader, however, it has also been said that the former Canadian ambassador to the US would rather be the clear favourite in such a race rather than getting down into the mud to slug it out with others that aspire to lead Trudeau’s party.
Yesterday, I interviewed Nik Nanos of SES Research on his company’s latest polling results which indicate a closer margin for the Conservatives and Liberals but a huge deficit in confidence of Canadians in the leadership of Stephane Dion.
I’ve checked the methodology of the poll and it seems to be what I call an “honest poll” (ie. that the pollster has the ballot question first without prompting respondents with questions that either outline successes or failures of any party — check this post for more discussion).
So, the methodology is straight-forward. However I cannot square the main result (LPC 37%, CPC 30%) with the results of this question:
Now that Stéphane Dion is the new Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, would you say you are significantly more likely, somewhat more likely, the same, somewhat less likely or significantly less likely to vote Liberal than you were before the Convention?
Total more likely: 20%
The same: 47%
Total less likely: 26%
This question should indicate that Canadian are less likely to vote for the Liberals under Stephane Dion.
However, the ballot question indicates the Liberals over the Conservatives with 37% to 30%, respectively.
The two results are in conflict. The only explanation is that the Liberals had higher support than 37% before the convention.